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Mohammed Hanif  [ Pakistan ]

Biography

Portrait Hanif
Copyright Hanif / C. Catherina Hess

Guest 2015, 2017.

Bibliography

Eine Kiste explodierender Mangos

A1

München, 2009

[Ü: Ursula Gräfe]

Alice Bhattis Himmelfahrt

A1

München, 2012

[Ü: Ursula Gräfe]

The Baloch Who Is Not Missing And Others Who Are

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Lahore, 2013

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan, in 1965. He graduated from the Pakistan Air Force Academy as a fighter pilot, but left the military to pursue a career in journalism. Hanif moved to London with his family in the late 1990s, where he worked for the BBC, wrote for the »Guardian« and the »New York Times« as well as on his own literary works, and penned several plays and the script for the movie »The Long Night« (directed by Raat Chali Hai Jhoom Ke). He also graduated from the University of East Anglia’s highly-respected creative writing program.

Published in 2008, Hanif’s first novel »A Case of Exploding Mangos« instantly made him an international bestselling author. In his satirical treatment of the plane crash that killed the Pakistani military dictator Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq, several high-ranking generals, and a US ambassador on 17 August 1988 – the cause of which remains unclear to this day – Hanif offers a fast-paced, funny yet unsparing analysis of patriarchal systems of power, with all their infighting and intrigue. Hanif, who returned to live in Pakistan in late 2008 and works as a BBC correspondent in Karachi, was hailed by critics for both his witty social analysis and his outstanding skill as a storyteller. »He concentrates with delightful scorn on the delicate political details and underhanded irony of his dialogues – this author is a master of backstabbing, ambiguous inflections« (»Frankfurter Rundschau«). In »Our Lady of Alice Bhatti« (2011), Hanif humorously pillories a society in which misogyny, religious fanaticism and violence are everyday occurrences. Set in the rundown, hopelessly overcrowded Sacred Heart Hospital in Karachi, the novel describes an unusual love story between the Catholic nurse Alice Bhatti and the Muslim policeman Teddy Butt, part of the city’s brutally corrupt Gentlemen’s Squad.

Mohammed Hanif has received numerous awards for his novels, including Germany’s Corine Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book. »A Case of Exploding Mangos« was nominated for the Man Booker Price and the Guardian First Book Award in 2008 and, together with »Our Lady of Alice Bhatti«, was nominated for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. In 2013 Hanif was asked by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan to write a series about dissidents who have disappeared in Balochistan. The author lives in Karachi.

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