(This novel has been longlisted for Man Asian Literary Prize 2011 for Fiction)
The boy known as Tor Baz—the black falcon —wanders between tribes. He meets men who fight under different flags, and women who risk everything if they break their society's code of honour. Where has he come from, and where will destiny take him?
Set in the decades before the rise of the Taliban, Jamil Ahmad's stunning debut takes us to the essence of human life in the forbidden areas where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet. Today the 'tribal areas' are often spoken about as a remote region, a hotbed of conspiracies, drone attacks and conflict. In The Wandering Falcon, this highly traditional, honour-bound culture is revealed from the inside for the first time.
With rare tenderness and perception, Jamil Ahmad describes a world of custom and cruelty, of love and gentleness, of hardship and survival; a fragile, unforgiving world that is changing as modern forces make themselves known. With the fate-defying story of Tor Baz, he has written an unforgettable novel of insight, compassion and timeless wisdom.
About the Author
Jamil Ahmad was born in Jalandhar in 1933. As a member of the Civil Service of Pakistan, he served mainly in the Frontier Province and in Balochistan. He was Political Agent in Quetta, Chaghi, Khyber and Malakand. Later, he was commissioner in Dera Ismail Khan and in Swat. He was also chairman of the Tribal Development Corporation. He was posted as minister in Pakistan's embassy in Kabul at a critical time, before and during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. His last assignment in the government was Chief Secretary, Balochistan.
He lives in Islamabad with his wife Helga Ahmad, a nationally recognized environmentalist and social worker who was awarded the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in 2007.