Indian author Jamil Ahmad must be the oldest author ever to win a “first book” prize? Jamil is 78 years old and has just been awarded the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. His winning novel is The Wandering Falcon (M).
Click here for more details about the prize and the winning entry.
“This is an accomplished and important debut novel by an 80-year-old former civil servant from Pakistan. It provides a rare and sympathetic glimpse into a world that most Westerners know only through news reports related to military operations. Ahmad takes as his subject the vanishing way of life among the tribes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) shared by Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, opening his story with a young couple who have fled there to avoid punishment for having violated tribal strictures. (Their son becomes the “wandering falcon” of the title.) The FATA is a remote and desolate area where centuries-old cultures have resisted modern influence almost completely. This is changing, however, and Ahmad-who knows the area well-depicts the clash between ancient rhythms of life in the FATA and the new political realities. VERDICT A fascinating journey; essential reading.” – Library Journal