Giving an insight into Pakistan’s feudal culture, Salma Iftikhar’s latest book, “Frozen Whispers”, delves into the realm of storytelling and sets itself apart from her previous works.
The book, launched at a local hotel on Wednesday, details the flamboyant lifestyle of its central character – a confused westernised feudal lord going through an existential crisis.
Even though it is different from the author’s previous publications, “Memories” and “Sunset Boulevard” that were fictionalisations of her life, the author hasn’t abandoned her writing style of life imitating art and fiction masquerading as reality.
There is an entire chapter that unveils the diary of the protagonist’s father. In that way, the book is almost voyeuristic and reminiscent of the writer’s own life, which she allowed readers to sneak into in previous works.
The self-published book has gone through 16 reviews and has been edited by Ayesha Siddiqi.
While talking to The Express Tribune, the author said she completed the book in six months and “it came through naturally”. However, she said she found the technical aspects of publishing to be daunting.
She said she chose the international route to avoid the problems caused by unprofessional booksellers and distributors in Pakistan.
The launching ceremony was conducted by Sadaf Raza, a friend of Iftikhar and a writer herself. Speaking to the audience, Raza said she had learnt that Iftikahr doesn’t quite see herself as a writer, but as an individual who is prone to documenting her life.
“Writers have a need to document the world around them and that is what she has done,” she said.
Air University Head of English Department Riaz Khan noted that the book isn’t about bold words in text form, rather it is about what is sublimely whispered to readers.
An audience member commented on the extensive use of adjectives, to which Raza explained the complexity of depicting the feudal system in a language besides Urdu. “We have to use adjectives to describe what we see around us, as it is rich and diverse, meriting description.”
The author said that she was also considering writing a sequel to the book. “This book has an abundance of human emotions, love, hate, passion and confusion. It has something to offer to everyone.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2012.
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