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Another Gulmohar Tree
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Usman is visiting post-war London from Pakistan when he meets a young aspiring artist called Lydia who has, like himself, come out of an unhappy marriage.
Just as the lonely strangers’ friendship begins to blossom into something deeper Usman has to return to Karachi, leaving Lydia behind.
Two years later, Lydia abandons her life in London and boards a ship to Karachi, where the two are married. But as the years flit by Usman feels distanced from his life and realises that he hasn’t noticed the buds of the gulmohar tree unfurl.
A beautiful account of a marriage that is in turn wry and unashamedly romantic.
About the Author
Aamer Hussein was born in Karachi in 1955 and moved to London in the early 1970s. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and reviews regularly for the Independent and the TLS. Aamer has published four collections of short stories and a novella, Another Gulmohar Tree, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Europe and South Asia 2010.
'Hussein vibrantly evokes the Karachi of the 1950's and 1960's in an affectionate tribute to a long marriage'
'Framed in distilled prose, this is a moving fable about this slow and sometimes startling growth of love. A slender delight.'
'Readers of Hussein's precise poetic prose in this quietly melancholy novel will be similarly rewarded'
Times Literary Supplement
'From the first paragraph, Another Gulmohar Tree plunges us into a world that is irrefutably real. It's this perfectly judged and rendered sense of reality — which pervades these characters' lives, as well as the cities they inhabit — that immediately absorbs and disarms the reader. We are lucky to have Hussein among us, telling us stories as few can, with his particular mixture of deep love, understanding, and sadness.'
'A lovely, strange and very moving novel. The colours and shape develop as you read while the couple's mutual understanding moves forward and upward over the years like two branches of blossom meeting at the top of the tree.'
'Taut yet lush ... like the flame-bright flowers of the gulmohar tree itself. At its heart it is a story of love, into which Hussein weaves all his remarkable skills of storytelling.'