The best known books set in each country: Pakistan

See here for methodology.

Three Cups of TeaGreg Mortenson343,98412,951
I Am MalalaMalala Yousafzai (and Christina Lamb)577,7326,439
Midnight’s ChildrenSalman Rushdie124,11313,908
Exit WestMohsin Hamid138,9123,617
Home FireKamila Shamsie65,4501,737
I Am Malala (Young Readers Edition)Malala Yousafzai31,7042,433
Stones Into SchoolsGreg Mortenson16,9941,904
ShameSalman Rushdie12,3632,444

Well, this is a bit grim: the top book set in Pakistan among LibraryThing readers is a real White Saviour narrative about a guy who just goes and does good to the people of Paksitan, whether they want it done to them or not. I haven’t read it, and I have seen nothing about it that encourages me to do so. (And the same goes for the sequel, in eighth place on this table, which I suspect may be anyway more set in Afghanistan than Pakistan.)

Malala Yousafzai, who wins among Goodreads users, is a different matter. Although her autobiography is ghost-written by Christina Lamb, it’s a genuine insider story of life in Swat, and I think I will look out for it. It’s noticeable that the young readers’ edition comes in sixth place.

To my dismay, I need to rule out the next three books because less than 50% of each is set in Pakistan. Midnight’s Children and Exit West are both favourite books of mine, but most of Midnight’s Children is set in India and none (as far as I remember) of Exit West is set in Pakistan. Similarly, Home Fire is mostly set in England.

So the top fiction book set in Pakistan is Salman Rushdie’s Shame. I will look out for it too.

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