History, Memory, Fiction
New Dimensions in Contemporary Pakistani and Kashmiri Writings
History, Memory, Fiction proposes an examination of several contemporary novels and memoirs of leading Pakistani and Kashmiri writers, considering them as historical fiction, in other words as works that are based on real-world facts, but as fiction are able to go further in creating what have been called ‘possible worlds’, ultimately creating a plausible story that might well be a true story. By blurring the frontier between history and fiction, unconstrained by concerns of referential ‘truth’, these novels and memoirs are able to provide us with fresh insights and moral orientation while suggesting that the past—which is not the same as history—must be given meaning in our present if we wish to create better possible futures. Thus, these writers are engaged in active social critique, providing readers with a broader perspective of historical consciousness.
Gender Violence, Law, and Power in Pakistan
Based on Shah’s unique insights over many years of experience as a journalist, researcher, and administrator, this fascinating study shows how the state justice system and informal processes of redress are mutually implicated in providing a space for honour-related violence, in the Sindh province, known as karo-kari. The author persuasively argues, however, that the label, karo-kari, masks diverse underlining factors such as contest over leadership, resources, marital strategies, and uses the language of honour as a means of legitimating and appropriating power.
The book is an insightful, scholarly, lucid, and coherently argued treatise on the topic of honour killings. It contains fascinating and richly-detailed ethnography and engages on issues of concern across the anthropology of gender, politics, and law. This landmark study offers a new perspective for understanding and dealing with honour-related violence demonstrating that honour does not lead to violence but that such violence is strategy ‘masked in honour’.