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Another Gulmohar Tree Paperback – July 1, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'A lovely, strange and very moving novel. The colours and shape develop as you read while the couple's mutual understanding moves forward and upward over the years like two branches of blossom meeting at the top of the tree.' Ruth Padel 'In his splendid, dreamy Another Gulmohar Tree, Hussein gives us an indelible sense of two worlds - Karachi and London - in miniature, and the strong parable of a love story that endures over a lifetime.' Joseph Olshan 'Taut yet lush - like the flame-bright flowers of the gulmohar tree itself. At its heart it is a story of love, into which Aamer Hussein weaves all his remarkable skills of storytelling.' Kamila Shamsie 'We are lucky to have Hussein among us, telling us stories as few can, with his particular mixture of deep love, understanding, and sadness.' Amit Chaudhuri

About the Author

Born in Karachi, Hussein moved to London in 1970. He reviews for The Independent and the TLS. He is the author of Turquoise, This Other Salt, and editor of Kahani: Short Stories by Pakistani Women. He has held visiting posts at the University of Southampton and the University of London, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Telegram Books; 1 edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846590566
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846590566
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,553,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Another Gulmohar Tree is a tale within a tale – or rather, the intertwining of fable with fiction. Hussein commences in poetic fashion with three Pakistan fables in the first chapter, Usman’s Song. Usman is a young Pakistani boy guarding his family’s fields, sheltering from the heat under a gulmohar tree “flowerless but green.” He shares his meagre food with a little green frog that perched on his knee. The heat makes him sleepy and he dreams of the tree’s golden flowers falling on him. Two simultaneous fables are interwoven within Usman’s Song. One is of a deer wandering into Rokeya’s garden – she shelters from the rain under a gulmohar tree. She sees a frog and hears the distant echo of a young boy singing. Her mother warns her not to make a pet of a wild animal. The last fable is of a farmer’s three children who woke a sleeping crocodile. They had to keep a promise to the crocodile to stay safe. Home was far away where the boundary was marked by a gulmohar tree.

The gulmohar tree is the name of the tree in India, Nepal and Pakistan – for Australians it is known as the flame tree (Delonix regia), and for others it is the royal Poinciana or the flamboyant tree. With large red (and yellow variety) flowers, when in bloom, the tree is strikingly beautiful.

The second, narrative chapter, Another Gulmohar Tree, describes Usman Ali Khan, a 19-year-old newly-married writer on a year’s secondment from Karachi to the foreign desk of The Daily Telegraph in London in 1950. Lydia Javashvili is a 30-year-old illustrator, the daughter of a half-Georgian émigré and a Catholic Scottish mother, awaiting finalization of her divorce. Usman and Lydia meet at a socialist seminar. There was no romance, only a promise to “keep in touch.
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Format: Paperback
This was a marginally interesting love story of a British woman who meets a Pakistani man while he is working as a journalist in London, who follows him to Karachi after she divorces her husband and his wife dies. The book begins with several short and interconnected tales, which I found more enjoyable that the narrative of the lovers. This was a quick and not unpleasant read, but not one I would strongly recommend,
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