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Talking Books: Uzma Aslam Khan

December 31, 2011

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Uzma Aslam Khan.

Uzma Aslam Khan is the author of The Story Of Noble Rot, Trespassing, and The Geometry of God.Trespassing was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize Eurasia 2003 and The Geometry of God was voted one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2009 and won a bronze medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2010.

What are you reading these days?

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng.

Which books are on your bedside table?

A book of poems by Charles Simic, The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat, and a manuscript I’ve been working on for over 20 years. Not sure the latter qualifies as a book, though.

Which titles are on your bucket list of books?

That is much too long a list. But on my fiction shortlist for the coming year I have: Isle of Passion by Laura Restrepo, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury (which I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t read), The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt, Sitt Marie Rose by Etel Adnan, The City and The City by China Mieville and We Are All Equally Far From Love by Adania Shibli.

What is the one book/author you feel everyone must read?

I am too anxious to not leave out any one outstanding writer to name any one outstanding writer. If we are talking about mind-bending insights, I’d say George Orwell, or Eqbal Ahmad. For mind-bending sentences, Jim Crace, or David Mitchell. For keeping me company through some of the saddest, scariest years of my life, Virginia Woolf, or Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

What are you planning to reread?

The Vet’s Daughter by Barbara Comyns Carr.

What is the one book you read because you thought it would make you appear smarter?

Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre.

What is the one book you started reading but could not finish?

Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre.

What is your favourite childhood book or story?

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.