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The story of the ill-fated Bhutto family, from the point of view of Fatima Bhutto, daughter of Mir Murtaza Bhutto.
Summary Of The Book
The Bhuttos are an old and powerful family in Pakistan. Warriors and feudal lords, they always wielded power and when Pakistan was born, they became power brokers in the country.
The book does not immediately dive into the history of the Bhutto family. This is an intimate and personal account by a daughter, a personal portrayal of her father, Mir Murtaza Bhutto. The brother of Benazir Bhutto, he had split from her party and formed a new party called the PPP-Shaheed Bhutto.
The book begins with a very personal portrait of her father - the way he dressed, the way he spoke, intimate father-daughter moments and memories, the loving relationship he had with his family. The tensions created by his confrontation with his sister, and the general violent history of the family, runs like a thread through the story.
She then gives a vivid description of the events of the fateful day, September 27, 1993. Her father had promised to sign the contract for Fatima’s first book of poetry. He had told her he would probably have to sign it in jail.
He was preparing to go out to address a press conference, and he expected to be arrested once it was over. Instead, as he stepped out of the house, the family heard a steady sound of gunfire. Fatima, just 14 years old, was hiding in a small dressing room, her back against the door to shield her younger brother, six year old Zulfikar, from the barrage of bullets that she could still hear outside her home.
From this beginning, she starts going into the history of her family, an old family with a tumultuous history. She slowly reconstructs the lineage from long back, mixing history and legends, and tales she had heard as a child.
It is a violent history that continues to this day. Tragedy seems to haunt the family as most of its prominent members have met with violent death. The author’s grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former Prime Minister of the country, was hanged by General Zia-Ul-Huq. Her uncle Shahnawaz died under suspicious circumstances.
Her father was murdered outside their house. In 2007, her aunt Benazir, whom she held responsible for her father’s death, was herself assassinated. The author examines the political and personal history of this family, a family that became a victim of its own politics.
About Fatima Bhutto
Fatima Bhutto is a respected Pakistani journalist, poet and author.
Other books by Fatima Bhutto - 8:50 am October 8, 2005 (Stories of Hope and Courage from the Earthquake in Pakistan), and Whispers of the Desert.
She is a poet and a social activist and her writings reflect her ideologies.
Fatima Bhutto was born in Afghanistan in 1982. She is now a columnist for the New Statesman and The Daily Beast. Bhutto studied at the American School in Karachi, and later majored in Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University. She then obtained a masters degree from the London School of Oriental and African Studies.
Fatima Bhutto???s Songs of Blood and Sword is one of the most appropriate historical works on the complex drama of Pakistani politics since its independence. Delving into the complexities of its political history she presents it as impartial as ever, (if history is to be written it must be written in this manner.) Pakistan as a nation has suffered at the madness of power struggle and democracy still remains a distant dream???..
While this non-fictional work represents the harsh political scenario of the nation, at the same time it gives a voice to the dreams and hopes of a better society a... (Expand)
The book is an amazing piece of non-fiction. Each event in the political history of Pakistan and personal history of the Bhutto family has been researched well and put even better in words. The author describes the harsh political scenario of Pakistan since its independence and how the Bhutto family has suffered and been ripped apart by the power-struggle from within the family.
The book is a reflection of the personal loss the author and her family has suffered and has also described the deep loving bond she shares with her father.
It is an un-put-down-able book. Curiosity rousing, cour... (Expand)
i was unsure while reading this book... i needed to check again and again if this was fiction only to find out it was not rather come to grim realization that this was non fiction. To know that the events described are true is yet shocking.. was the partition worth it?? That is the question that forms at the back of the minds of readers. READ IT Wont be disappointed.
Fatima Bhutto???s Songs of Blood and Sword is one of the grace and depth of love between a daughter and father and also the darkest edge of greed of power that demolishes the love between brothers and sister...and all relations. Fati made huge efforts to express the reality of fake strength of relations and immense greed of power in democracy and to be above democracy.