smart people have started reading lists for Afghanistan recently, obviously as a contribution to the current frantic attempt to grasp something that the West is muddling in for years now. Check Abu Muqawama and Christian Bleuer for that matter.
Having found time to read a lot in the last semester at University, I decided to have a go as well and started to set something like it up for Pakistan (and the wider region which I have visited for research/work recently and where the other RugPundits are currently located, that is Lanzhou/China, Lahore/Pakistan). And although I hope there will never be a Marines reading list for deployment to Pakistan, an understanding of the area can help prevent such a scenario. Since people ask me lots of (ridiculous, misinformed, sometimes thoughtful) questions on the area and I know people who have to travel there for work, a reading list can help to get some upfront understanding. For all Pakistanis, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to wrap up Pakistani literature in a page, being aware that there is far too much around that I could ever grasp it in a lifetime – just like I wouldn’t attempt to start a reading list on Austria or Central Europe that is all-encompassing. Do read Sepoy’s, Lapata’s and Zunguzungu’s criticism of the attempt to stuff literature from a nation (in that example Pakistan) into a ‘development framework’. It should just be a chance to get an insight. I tried to find something like it on the net, but have only found bits and pieces in different places – please prove me wrong, if you can.
I would like to ask for your contributions, what have you read about Pakistan, what Pakistani literature would you recommend? I (and if Yasir and Florian have muse, they) will pick from the suggestions and put them up. Only stuff we read makes it on the list. Whether it’s bad or good quality, does not really matter. I am just reading through recent German works on Pakistan (will review) – up to now it’s all crap. We read Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Punjabi and Urdu.
Please do post your suggestions in the comments.