Broken Threads: My Family from Empire to Independence (Hardback)
  • Broken Threads: My Family from Empire to Independence (Hardback)
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Broken Threads: My Family from Empire to Independence (Hardback)

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Hardback 336 Pages
Published: 06/06/2024
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Waterstones Says

The popular newsreader and journalist chronicles her grandparents' lives amidst the turbulence of empire and partition in India and Pakistan in this engaging memoir of family, belonging and the nature of freedom.

An extraordinary family memoir from acclaimed newsreader and journalist, Mishal Husain, uncovering the story of her grandparents' lives amidst empire, political upheaval and partition.

‘I witnessed the dwindling glow of the British Empire. I saw small men entrusted with great jobs, playing with the destiny of millions’

The lives of Mishal Husain’s grandparents changed forever in 1947, as the new nation states of India and Pakistan were born. For years she had a partial story, a patchwork of memories and anecdotes: hurried departures, lucky escapes from violence and homes never seen again.

Decades later, the fragment of an old sari sent Mishal on a journey through time, using letters, diaries, memoirs and audio tapes to trace four lives shaped by the Raj, a world war, independence and partition.

Mumtaz rejects the marriage arranged for him as he forges a life with Mary, a devout Catholic from an Anglo-Indian family, while Tahirah and Shahid watch the politics of pre-partition Delhi unfold at close quarters. As freedom comes, bonds fray and communities are divided, leaving two couples to forge new identities, while never forgetting the shared heritage of the past.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008531683
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 222 x 141 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘At times this book feels like vital history, which just happens to read like a great novel. At other times, it reads like a novel that just happens to inform us about great history. The prose is always clear and the characters are unforgettable. One of the best memoirs I've read in years’ SATHNAM SANGHERA ‘An unflinching portrait of a family splintered by partition. Husain’s beautifully written family memoir examines the shared trauma that so many families like hers endured, finding hope and compassion in one of South Asia’s darkest chapters’ JEMIMA KHAN ‘Mishal Husain weaves an intricate family web that catches all the hope and optimism, as well as the tragedy and disappointment of the birth of Pakistan and independent India in 1947. With clarity, warmth and profound sympathy, as well as some brilliant archival detective work, she performs a fascinating act of reconstruction of the world that disappeared in Partition. In many ways, Mishal Husain shows us, with so many intricate threads irreparably broken, 1947 has yet to come to an end’ WILLIAM DALRYMPLE ‘This is the most important and accessible book I have ever read about the days leading up to and surrounding the partition of India. I read it as one would a thriller, a page-turner; a fabulous achievement by a skilled writer, packed with facts but floating like a butterfly. I cannot recommend it strongly enough’ JOANNA LUMLEY ‘Spell-binding – a love story and an extraordinary personal journey set against some of the greatest upheavals of the 21st century. A book that is as moving as it is important’ PETER FRANKOPAN ‘If you love Mishal’s broadcasting, you’ll be utterly enchanted by this meticulously researched story’ JON SOPEL

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