The Upstairs Wife

The Upstairs Wife A Memoir Of Karachi Through The Eyes Of Its Women An Indies Introduce Debut Authors Selection For A Brief Moment On December 27, 2007, Life Came To A Standstill In Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, The Country S Former Prime Minister And The First Woman Ever To Lead A Muslim Country, Had Been Assassinated At A Political Rally Just Outside Islamabad Back In Karachi Bhutto S Birthplace And Pakistan S Other Great Metropolis Rafia Zakaria S Family Was Suffering Through A Crisis Of Its Own Her Uncle Sohail, The Man Who Had Brought Shame Upon The Family, Was Near Death In That Moment These Twin Catastrophes One Political And Public, The Other Secret And Intensely Personal Briefly Converged Zakaria Uses That Moment To Begin Her Intimate Exploration Of The Country Of Her Birth Her Muslim Indian Family Immigrated To Pakistan From Bombay In 1962, Escaping The Precarious State In Which The Muslim Population In India Found Itself Following The Partition For Them, Pakistan Represented Enormous Promise And For Some Time, Zakaria S Family Prospered And The City Prospered But In The 1980s, Pakistan S Military Dictators Began An Islamization Campaign Designed To Legitimate Their Rule A Campaign That Particularly Affected Women S Freedom And Safety The Political Became Personal When Her Aunt Amina S Husband, Sohail, Did The Unthinkable And Took A Second Wife, A Humiliating And Painful Betrayal Of Kin And Custom That Shook The Foundation Of Zakaria S Family But Was Permitted Under The Country S New Laws The Young Rafia Grows Up In The Shadow Of Amina S Shame And Fury, While The World Outside Her Home Turns Ever Chaotic And Violent As The Opportunities Available To Post Partition Immigrants Are Dramatically Curtailed And Terrorism Sows Its Seeds In Karachi Telling The Parallel Stories Of Amina S Polygamous Marriage And Pakistan S Hopes And Betrayals, The Upstairs Wife Is An Intimate Exploration Of The Disjunction Between Exalted Dreams And Complicated Realities. The story of Aunt Amina and her husband Uncle Sohail is the primary focus of the book However the shadow of the Pakistani India conflict and the continual Islamization of Pakistan forms the over riding feature of the story.I like family sagas I like the rich, descriptive detail found in such stories The links within links and in an Asian family with its huge extended family the saga is alwayscomplicated, richer in detail and somehowintimate.Amina is married to Sohail and after ove The story of Aunt Amina and her husband Uncle Sohail is the primary focus of the book However the shadow of the Pakistani India conflict and the continual Islamization of Pakistan forms the over riding feature of the story.I like family sagas I like the rich, descriptive detail found in such stories The links within links and in an Asian family with its huge extended family the saga is alwayscomplicated, richer in detail and somehowintimate.Amina is married to Sohail and after over a decade of marriage he decides to take a second wife Taking a second wife is allowed in Islam but you do have to get the permission of the first wife This was not done in this case and I think it is not done in a lot of cases The wife tends to get shoved aside in placed of a newer andglamourous entity In this case the ov
When I brought this book, I was expecting something along the lines of Fatima Merissini This book is not that What this book is a chronicle of a family life in Parkisten after Partition, Zakaria s family moved to Pakistan because of the anti Muslim climate of India Zakaria s family history, in particular, that of her childless aunt whose husband takes a second wife The personal conflict in the family is also shown in contrast to the unfolding political and societal drama, as Pakistan s gover When I brought this book, I was expecting something along the lines of Fatima Merissini This book is not that What this book is a chronicle of a family life in Parkisten after Partition, Zakaria s family moved to Pakistan because of the anti Muslim climate of India Zakaria s family history, in particular, that of her childless aunt whose husband takes a second wife The personal conflict in the family is also shown in contrast to the unfolding political and societal drama, as Pakistan s government tightens control over women In many ways, Zakaria s story is like Atwood s Handmaid s Tale, and considering that Atwood s novel doe draw on real events and rules that have been applied to women, this should not come as that much of a surprise After all haven t you seen the photo of a bunch of old white guys deciding that maternity care is not essential for health Haven t you read about the anti abortion bill that was signe
I d really rate this book a solid 2.5 stars if I could, but not 3 What is it about this nonlinear storytelling I don t understand why the author jumps back and forth among the 1940 s, 1960 s, 1970 s, andcurrent events It s distracting and annoying I also expected to learnabout an account of a woman living the life of first wife in a polygamous relationship The book sort of did that and the word history is in the title But the book isabout the history of Pakistan Which I d really rate this book a solid 2.5 stars if I could, but not 3 What is it about this nonlinear storytelling I don t understand why the author jumps back and forth among the 1940 s, 1960 s, 1970 s, andcurrent events It s distracting and annoying I also expected to learnabout an account of a woman living the life of first wife in a polygamous relationship The book sort of did that and the word history is in the title But the book isabout the history of Pakistan Which is fine if I weren t expecting something else Worse
Received as a Goodreads complimentary title Excellent book Well written non fiction that pulls you into the culture and history of Pakistan Easy to read and matches the national events with direct happenings into Zakaria s author s own family A descriptive point of reference into P
No star rating, because I did not get far enough It skips around so frequently and from 1986 to 2007 to whatever era and in placement to locale as well No continuity The history of Pakistan is set within the copy of her Aunt s s
A Goodreads and Beacon Press Giveaway Thank You The Upstairs Wife is a thought provoking and well written story of life in Pakistan It is a memoir of Pakistan s unsettled history and a family s polygamist marriage The women s stories of t
Zakaria, a human rights lawyer who also writes a column for a Pakistani newspaper, has written an engaging history of Pakistan The country s name means Land of the Pure It was created as a Muslim breakaway from India Zakaria looks at the country s search for purity Unsurprisingly, purity means purity for women, not purity from corruption or violence Pakistan was born in blood, and so was the separation of Bangladesh I hadn t realized that one of the catalysts for the Bengali Muslims bre Zakaria, a human rights lawyer who also writes a column for a Pakistani newspaper, has written an engaging history of Pakistan The country s name means Land of the Pure It was created as a Muslim breakaway from India Zakaria looks at the country s search for purity Unsurprisingly, purity means purity for women, not purity from corruption or violence Pakistan was born in blood, and so was the separation of Bangladesh I hadn t realized that one of the catalysts for the Bengali Muslims bre
A memoir of growing up in Karachi, The Upstairs Wife gives context to the life of women behind the walls of a middle class Muslim home in one of Pakistan s great cities, where men make the decisions and women accept the consequences Aunt Amina is given in marriage by a contract negotiated by her male relatives who didn t think to inquire about the possibility of her spouse acquiring a second wife When Amina tries to return in protest, she is sent back to the husband who divides his time religi A memoir of growing up in Karachi, The Upstairs Wife gives context to the life of women behind the walls of a middle class Muslim home in one of Pakistan s great cities, where men make the decisions and women accept the consequences Aunt Amina is given in marriage by a contract negotiated by her male relatives who didn t think to inquire about the possibility of her spouse acquiring a second wife When Amina tries to return in protest, she is sent back to the husband who divides his time religiously between the upstairs and downstairs wives.It s hard for a westerner to comprehend the complete discounting is the value of women in contemporary Pakistan Benazir Bhutto seemed l
First of all, thank you to Edelweiss National Association of Independent Publishers Representatives and Beacon Press for allowing me to read the e book of this memoir before it was published This really is a privilege.It is September and I have read a lot of books so far this year The vast majority have received three stars from me As others have lamented on this si
This book is so beautifully done Many of the reviews I see here criticized the non linear nature of the narrative, the jumping around in time, the disjointed snapshots of Pakistan s history intertwined with family history But I feel that this episodic approach is precisely what makes this book work so well, because it reads like the way our minds jump from highlight to highlight when we reminisce over the past Not like a timeline in a history textbook.For instance, she describes the fish mark This book is so beautifully done Many of the reviews I see here criticized the non linear nature of the narrative, the jumping around in time, the disjointed snapshots of Pakistan s history intertwined with family history But I feel that this episodic approach is precisely what makes this book work so well, because it reads like the way our minds jump from highlight to highlight when we reminisce over t

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  • Hardcover
  • 264 pages
  • The Upstairs Wife
  • Rafia Zakaria
  • 10 January 2018
  • 0807003360