Alice Bhatti in Wonderland

Published September 26, 2011

A good number of Karachi’s worms turned up for the launch of Mohammad Hanif’s highly anticipated ‘Our lady of Alice Bhatti’ at Liberty books on Sunday.

After reading an excerpt from his book, and a short tête-à-tête with Muneeza Shamsie, Hanif took on questions from the audience. His responses contended of both satire and realism. The audience then queued for a book signing.

Speaking about his book, Hanif said there was no political statement in particular. “However, even in an anti-political rant, there is always some politics,” he added.

The book is raw narrative about a Christian nurse Alice Bhatti, that builds around her relationship with police goon/Junior Mr Faisalabad, Teddy Butt among other dimensions.

The dark humour is expertly crafted to retain its edge without being comparable to ‘A case of exploding mangoes’ – it is however just as gripping a read.

Hanif admitted that Alice, the name for his main character came to his mind almost after a year into writing the book. And that Alice in Wonderland was, to an extent, an inspiration.

The author humorously added that Teddy’s character developed simply from hanging out with the wrong people.

With reference to Alice, who is a Catholic, Hanif said that almost everyone at some point is a minority in their respective society, no matter their religion.

While on faith, the author quipped: “No one ever gets it right.”

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