The Pakistani Bride

“Pakistan’s finest English-language novelist.” —NEW YORK TIMES
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Wild, austere, and magnificently beautiful, the territories of northern Pakistan are a forbidding place, particularly for women. Traveling alone from the isolated mountain village where he was born, a tribal man takes an orphaned girl for his daughter and brings her to the glittering city of Lahore. Amid the pungent bazaars and crowded streets, he makes his fortune and a home for the two of them.

Yet as the years pass, he grows nostalgic for his life in the mountains, and his fifteen-year-old daughter envisions a romantic landscape, filled with tall men who roam the mountains like gods. Impulsively, the man promises his daughter in marriage to a man of his tribe. But once she arrives in the mountains, the ancient customs of unquestioning obedience and backbreaking work make accepting her fate as the bride of an inscrutable husband impossible. Unfortunately, the only escape is one from which there is no return.

Prescient and provocative in its assessment of the plight of women in a tribal society in Pakistan, the first of Bapsi Sidhwa’s novels is a story of marriage and commitment, of the conflict between adherence to tradition and indomitable force of a woman’s spirit.

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Bapsi Sidhwa

Bapsi Sidhwa has been widely celebrated as the finest novelist produced by her country—the New York Times called her “Pakistan’s finest English-language novelist.”

Praise and Prizes

  • “With an entertaining, highly readable writing style, Bapsi Sidhwa draws the reader into Pakistan and its peculiar—and yet universal—problems. Her conclusion, not completely definitive, does what any good book does. It leaves us wanting more.”

    Atlanta Journal & Constitution
  • “Bapsi Sidhwa shows a marvelous feel for imagery—at a breathless pace she weaves her exotic cliffhanger from passion, power, lust, sensuality, cruelty and murder.”

    Financial Times
  • “Bapsi Sidhwa manages to capture the conflict of pride and kindness in the Moslem psyche. She also portrays beautifully a Pakistan still in a state of upheaval, and as yet confused as to its destiny and future.”

    Jerusalem Post
  • “What I loved about The Pakistani Bride was its passion and vitality. Bapsi Sidhwa writes with immense vigor and liveliness and she has brought her world and people exuberantly to life.”

    Good Housekeeping
  • “Bapsi Sidhwa writes dramatically of marriage, loyalty, honor and their conflict with old ways in this well-told tale.”

    Publishers Weekly