ISLAMABAD - Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto will come out with her new book in October that deals with questions about modern Muslim identity in a world aflame with violence.
The Runaways has been billed by publisher Penguin Random House India as an explosive new work of fiction. The book spans from Karachi to the nightlife of London, from the dockyards of Portsmouth to the deserts of Mosul.
Anita Rose lives in a concrete block in one of Karachi’s biggest slums, languishing in poverty with her mother and older brother. Determined to escape her stifling circumstances, she struggles to educate herself, scribbling down English words – gleaned from watching TV or taught by her elderly neighbour – in her most prized possession: a glossy red notebook. All the while she is aware that a larger destiny awaits her.
On the other side of Karachi lives Monty, whose father owns half the city. But Monty wants more than fast cars and easy girls. When the rebellious Layla joins his school, he knows his life will never be the same again.
And far away in Portsmouth, Sunny fits in nowhere. It is only when he meets his charismatic, suntanned cousin Oz – whose smile makes Sunny feel found – that he realises his true purpose.
These three disparate lives will cross paths in the middle of a desert, a place where life and death walk hand-in-hand, and where their closely guarded secrets will force them to make a terrible choice.
“Penguin India has been my home for the past 10 years and I am thrilled that my new novel - a book very close to my heart - will be published by them this October,” says Bhutto, who has penned books like Songs of Blood and Sword and The Shadow of the Crescent Moon.
Meru Gokhale, Editor-in-Chief (Literary Publishing) at Penguin Random House India, says Fatima’s new novel does not shy away from disturbing truths about the world we live in today.