The acclaimed Karachi-based author Mohammed Hanif’s new novel Red Birds has been picked up by Bloomsbury. The book will be published in September 2018. Faiza Khan, editorial director of Bloomsbury India, and Alexandra Pringle, group editor-in-chief at Bloomsbury, bought the book.
“I’ve been a devoted admirer of Mohammed Hanif’s unique combination of wit, compassion and truth-telling since he first burst onto the literary scene in a landmark moment for South Asian fiction and I am very proud to be working with this immense talent,” said Khan.
Mohammed Hanif’s 2008 debut novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, gathered much critical acclaim and was longlisted for the Booker prize, and won the Shakti Bhatt first book award. His next, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, released in 2011, received mixed reviews, being called “disorienting” and “chaotic” in comparison to his first.
Here is what we know about Red Birds so far: An American pilot crash lands in the desert, unprepared for any situation that can’t be resolved with the After Eight mints in his survival kit. Hallucinating palm trees and dehydrating isn’t Major Ellie’s idea of a good time, but he figures it’s less of a hassle than another marital spat back home. In a neighbouring refugee camp, Momo has his own problems; his money-making schemes aren’t working out as planned, his dog has ideas above his station and an academic researcher has shown up to study him for her thesis on the Teenage Muslim Mind. And then there’s the matter of his missing brother…
“Behind its dark comic absurdity of tone, Hanif’s new novel, Red Birds, tells deep and important truths about our crazy contemporary world….” noted literary agent Clare Alexander of Alexander Aitkens.