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Our Lady of Alice Bhatti Paperback – September 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
like mohsin hamid's "moth smoke," "our lady" unfolds as a modern crime noir. it's a tragedy about a woman who is punished not for what she has done but for who she is. her story emerges as an indictment against a society that remains handicapped not by it's polarization against the west as the nightly news would have us believe, but rather because of an internal class based system of misogyny that is condoned by a corrupt church-state system. the house itself is not in order, and the external pressures of the so called new great game have spun it out of control.
despite all this it would still be dismissive to categorize this novel as a timely political thriller, because i think it gets at something even deeper than the current state of affairs in pakistan. at it's heart it's a feminist novel. it's about how the bodies of women are being trampled, displaced and discarded in lieu of rational discourse.Read more ›
This is a funny-sad novel written in the style of an Pakistani speaking English--by the way it is published in England's English, i.e., humour. Potential readers need to be aware that you may need to be patient getting into the syntax as well as the sytle, one in which the reader isn't always that certain what is happening when a new scene emerges, but then suddenly the reader has the ah-ha enlightenments.
The novel is set in Karachi's Christian slum, the French Colony, with Alice Bhatti, skinny from malnutrition except large in breats, is the delightful main character, "an underpaid junior nurse in an understaffed" [very, very understaffed] "welfare hospital, The Scared. The cast is wonderful including Alice's father, Joseph, who isn't really very wonderful at all--her mother died when Alice was young--but then emerges in a very unique and very surprising role at the end in the epilogue. (The reader will not easily forget the ending of this novel, an ending that gives meaning to the title.) Noor is a 17-year-old hospital worker who simultaneously is caring for his mother, dying of cancer, often the only way to swat away the pests that inhabit the unsanitary place. The not-so-skilled main doctor, Dr. Pereira, and the sardonic nurse supervising Alice, Sisster Hina Alvi. Alice, by the way, was, in the corrupted view of the administration of the nursing school where she was "trained" "its most troublesome student.Read more ›
"Our Lady of Alice Bhatti" is a riff on Pakistan's brutal oppression of women as seen through the brief life of a hospital nurse from one of Karachi's slums. It is cleverly structured and somehow Hanif manages to leaven his tale with dark humor. As I said, I don't know how Hanif does it. This novel is brilliant.
I'm not going to give away the plots to Alice Bhatti or The Case of Exploding Mangoes because readers need to explore for themselves...I will say though, if you want to read a story conveying the reality people live with in the Far East but don't want the mental drain of kaled Hosseini (whom I loved reading, but left me exhausted) read a Mohammad Hanif book...he's a fantastic storyteller.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the best books I have read in some while. Beautifully constructed and written around such a harrowing plot. Do read it.Published 2 months ago by Brian Parselle
Having lived in Pakistan's larger S. Asian neighbor on and off for some time, I want to compliment Hanif for capturing the pulse of poor peoples' lives (their vitality, their... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lonl
A bit to graphic for me! Not the type of literature I like to read.Published 5 months ago by Dr. Mom
This falls flat in comparison to A case of exploding mangoes. It feels a bit forced, contrived even. Read morePublished 11 months ago by ANURAG YAGNIK
Mohammed Hanif is a master of tragic and witty social commentary in the form of novels.Published 21 months ago by katie
Incisive, funny and sad. Non Pakistanis would not get most of the cultural references though. Great follow up to "Exploding Mangoes"Published on May 15, 2014 by Bilal Hakeem
Just really enjoying the comedy the tragedy and the visual images that the writing affords. A great book for discussions for a book clubmPublished on January 7, 2014 by Angela D. Pater
The best book I've read this year. Mohammed Hanif has woven a story of love, intrique and spirituality around Alice Bhatti, who as I see, is a symbol of Pakistani society in... Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by Louise Goodman
Just read and discussed this in my book club. Astonishing, amazing, tight, real insights on women, men and marriage from a male author. Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by Jen@dazzleM: