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The former New York Times Pakistan bureau chief paints an arresting, up-close portrait of a fractured country.
Declan Walsh is one of the New York Times’s most distinguished international correspondents. His electrifying portrait of Pakistan over a tumultuous decade captures the sweep of this strange, wondrous, and benighted country through the dramatic lives of nine fascinating individuals.
On assignment as the country careened between crises, Walsh traveled from the raucous port of Karachi to the salons of Lahore, and from Baluchistan to the mountains of Waziristan. He met a diverse cast of extraordinary Pakistanis—a chieftain readying for war at his desert fort, a retired spy skulking through the borderlands, and a crusading lawyer risking death for her beliefs, among others. Through these “nine lives” he describes a country on the brink—a place of creeping extremism and political chaos, but also personal bravery and dogged idealism that defy easy stereotypes.
Unbeknownst to Walsh, however, an intelligence agent was tracking him. Written in the aftermath of Walsh’s abrupt deportation, The Nine Lives of Pakistan concludes with an astonishing encounter with that agent, and his revelations about Pakistan’s powerful security state. Intimate and complex, attuned to the centrifugal forces of history, identity, and faith, The Nine Lives of Pakistan offers an unflinching account of life in a precarious, vital country.
About the Author: Declan Walsh, formerly the New York Times Pakistan bureau chief, is based in Cairo. He was educated in Dublin and has also reported from sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, the United States, and across the Middle East.
A Note From the Publisher
Publication date has changed to 11/17/20.
“An irresistible combination of storytelling panache and in-depth knowledge; Declan Walsh brings vividly to life characters and situations that illuminate some of the most significant phases of Pakistan’s history.” - Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire
“If you want to read one book about contemporary Pakistan, it has to be The Nine Lives of Pakistan, an intimate yet sweeping account of Pakistan’s contemporary history. Walsh is a rare foreign correspondent who doesn’t condescend, a storyteller who lets his characters speak. Although I am familiar with most of the events and characters Walsh writes about, his retelling left me breathless.” - Mohammed Hanif, author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes
“In The Nine Lives of Pakistan, Declan Walsh describes, with intellectual power and cool elegance, a much-misunderstood country. All those interested in South Asia and its complex politics and culture should read [this book].” - Pankaj Mishra, author of The Age of Anger