Red Birds

Mohammed Hanif (Author)
Available

Description

An American pilot crash lands in the desert and finds himself on the outskirts of the very camp he was supposed to bomb. After days spent wandering and hallucinating from dehydration, Major Ellie is rescued by one of the camp's residents, a teenager named Momo, whose entrepreneurial money-making schemes are failing as his family is falling apart: His older brother, Ali, left for his first day of work at an American base and never returned; his parents are at each other's throats; his dog, Mutt, is having a very bad day; and an earthy-crunchy aid worker has shown up wanting to research him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind. Amidst the madness, Momo sets out to search for his brother Ali, hoping his new Western acquaintances might be able to help find him. But as the truth of Ali's whereabouts begin to unfold, the effects of American "aid" on this war-torn country are revealed to be increasingly pernicious.
Written with his trademark wit and keen eye for absurdity, and revealing critical truths about the state of the world today, Red Birds shows master storyteller Mohammed Hanif at the height of his powers.

Product Details

Price
$16.00  $14.72
Publisher
Grove Press, Black Cat
Publish Date
May 14, 2019
Pages
304
Dimensions
5.5 X 1.1 X 8.2 inches | 0.65 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780802147288
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. He graduated from the Pakistan Air Force Academy as Pilot Officer but subsequently left to pursue a career in journalism. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Novel. His second novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, was shortlisted for the 2012 Wellcome Prize. He has written the libretto for a new opera and writes regularly for the New York Times, BBC Urdu, and BBC Punjabi. He currently splits his time between Berlin and Karachi.

Reviews

Praise for Red Birds

"Hanif, Booker-longlisted for A Case of Exploding Mangoes, dives headfirst into an unnamed desert in the present day...Hanif's portrait of the surrealism and commonplaceness of America's wars in Muslim countries is nearly impossible to put down. The camp in particular crackles with humanity, bizarreness, and banality...The novel manages to remain delightful and unpredictable even in its darkest moments, highlighting the hypocrisies and constant confusions of American intervention abroad." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Red Birds is a piercingly laugh-out-loud novel in a genre that doesn't often abide comedy. But Hanif pushes his narrative beyond mere irony, expanding his critique of America's military interventions to include satire, ghost stories and absurdist touches -- up to and including a canine narrator that's usually smarter than any human in the room." --Washington Post

"An incisive, unsparing critique of war and of America's role in the destruction of the Middle East...Hanif is dexterous and ambitious with the literary tools of both east and west...Combine this with humour as cutting as Heller or Evelyn Waugh...and you have something wildly original." -Guardian

"Funny, fresh, and not afraid to draw blood, this is an unusual gem of a book." --Kirkus Reviews

"Hanif has written a splendidly satirical novel that beautifully captures the absurdity and folly of war and its ineluctable impact on its survivors. At turns funny and heartbreaking, it is a memorable contribution to the literature of conflict." --Booklist (starred review)

"Red Birds is a fresh marvel, describing with cool wit and steely yet tender intelligence the interlinked fates of antagonists in a forgotten war-scape - and the complicity of our own sheltered lives in remote conflicts." --Guardian

"[A] wonderfully strange exploration of the effects of war on civilians. Mohmmed Hanif's Red Birds is part Catch-22, part Slaughterhouse-Five, part Kafka's The Castle, and all Hanif's darkly satirical wit and wildly creative imagination." --BookBrowse

"An impressive multi-voiced performance that straddles bitter tragedy and pungent black comedy, grounded realism and flighty absurdity ... Red Birds thrums with rambunctious energy... this is writing with guts, satire with bite" --National

"An acutely observed refugee tale ... Both achingly realistic and elusively metaphysical ... dripping with exuberant disdain for the way in which western power has corrupted the world ... an effective satire that reminds us that everybody-- refugees, distraught mothers, unthinking airmen, well-meaning aid workers, dogs and ghosts - has a need to love, and be loved" --Observer

"A blistering, savage, tragicomic satire about the cruelty of war and the impossibility of peace ... Hanif writes of violence and bitterness with flashes of hilarity that underline his anger and his humanity." -- Times

"Hanif has a talent for taking the most serious subjects...and, in a style indebted to Joseph Heller's Catch-22, emphasising their fundamental absurdity through satire. Hanif's authorial gifts are undeniable and Red Birds is written with ambition and powerful satirical anger." --Literary Review

"Deploying a relentlessly grim gallows humour, Hanif skewers the entrenched insanity of conflict ... Hanif's bleak, formidable use of irony burns deeply." --Daily Mail

Praise for Mohammed Hanif:

"Mohammed Hanif is a brave, gifted writer." --Mohsin Hamid, author of Exit West

"Witty, elegant, and deliciously anarchic. Hanif has a lovely eye and an even better ear." --John le Carré, on Case of the Exploding Mangoes

"An insanely brilliant, satirical first novel . . . Belongs in a tradition that includes Catch-22, but it also calls to mind the biting comedy of Philip Roth." --Washington Post, on Case of the Exploding Mangoes

"A comedy for those who think, a tragedy for those who feel... Hanif does Karachi better than Rushdie does Bombay... Relentlessly readable, compulsively so as it surges towards it apocalyp-tic conclusion" --Guardian, on Our Lady of Alice Bhatti