Media Center: 'Our Lady of Alice Bhatti' by Mohammed Hanif
WHO: Mohammed Hanif
OUR LADY OF ALICE BHATTI, a novel
Published by Knopf May 31, 2012
WHERE: Set in Karachi
“An insightful tale of pain and love…laced with humor, often ribald and iconoclastic.
“In Mohammed Hanif’s second literary effort, Alice Bhatti lives in a land where ‘most of life’s arguments…got settled by doing various things to a woman’s body.’
“Alice is a young nurse, a Christian, in Muslim Pakistan. Alice is a Choohra, an untouchable. Alice is also a graduate of Borstal Jail for Women and Children. That’s because outspoken Alice made an easy target at the end of her nursing training when blame needed to be fixed for a botched operation. Sentence complete, Alice has secured a nursing position at Sacred Heart Hospital for All Ailments near French Colony, Karachi’s Christian slum. Outsider and renegade, openhearted and cynical, Alice is a strikingly memorable character.
“Hanif’s setting is spot on: Karachi as Karachi-Western-misperceived…Much of the first two-thirds of the novel is focused on the artful setting and the deepening of character development, and then Alice, praying ‘in the heat of demented devotion,’ resuscitates an apparently stillborn boy. Alice is certain there are scientific reasons for the baby springing to life, but rumors of miracles soon fly around the hospital and out among the want-be-patients languishing under a courtyard tree called Old Doctor. It is there too that Alice rests to await her destiny.” —KIRKUS
About the book | Author bio | Download the jacket
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