Other Names for Love

‘Exceptional’ Sunjeev Sahota

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Pub Date 7 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 6 Aug 2022
Vintage, Harvill Secker

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Description

Discover this hypnotic novel about a boy's life-changing summer: an unmissable read for fans of Damon Galgut, Brandon Taylor and Hisham Matar.

On the train from Karachi, as dusk begins to fall, Fahad's dreams of his summer in London are fading. He is headed to Abad, the family's feudal estate, where his father intends to toughen up his sensitive boy, to teach him about power, duty, family -- to make him a man.

Instead, over the course of one shimmering, indolent season, Fahad finds himself seduced by the wildness of the land and by the people he meets: those who revere and revile his father; cousin Mousey, who lives alone with a man he calls his manager; and Ali, a teenager like him, whose presence threatens to unearth all that is hidden.

Other Names for Love is a truly exceptional novel: a luminous tale of memory and desire, inheritance and love, and the search for a sense of home. Written with urgency and unusual beauty, it marks the arrival of a stunning new voice in fiction.

'Such a deftly told and evocative story of duty, masculinity and desire' KAMILA SHAMSIE, author of Home Fire

Discover this hypnotic novel about a boy's life-changing summer: an unmissable read for fans of Damon Galgut, Brandon Taylor and Hisham Matar.

On the train from Karachi, as dusk begins to fall...


Advance Praise

‘A beautiful novel on the desire to leave and the hope to remain’ Hisham Matar

‘An exceptional novel about fathers and sons, desire and love, and the long reach of the past’ Sunjeev Sahota

‘Other Names for Love probes the mystery of who we are’ Rumaan Alam

‘A deftly told and evocative story of duty, masculinity and desire’ Kamila Shamsie

‘A powerful, moving novel and an impressive debut’ Mohsin Hamid

‘A haunted, haunting novel’ Garth Greenwell

‘A beautiful novel on the desire to leave and the hope to remain’ Hisham Matar

‘An exceptional novel about fathers and sons, desire and love, and the long reach of the past’ Sunjeev Sahota

‘Other...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781787303041
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Other Names for Love is a brilliant debut novel by Pakistani writer Taymour Soomro depicting the detached relationship between a father and son over several decades. At the start of the novel, Rafik, an influential aspiring politician, takes his sensitive son Fahad out to their family lands for the summer. Fahad would rather be in London shopping and going to the theatre with his mother, but Rafik wants to mould Fahad to fit his idea of masculinity. Both characters are dealing with their own struggles: Fahad is grappling with his sexuality, while Rafik's claim to the lands and the political influence that comes with them is threatened by the arrival of his cousin from London. The first half of of the novel deals with the events of this summer, before we meet Fahad and Rafik again many years later in a world that has dramatically changed in ways which Rafik has not fully understood.

There is such restraint in the writing of this novel - the prose is sparing and a lot goes unstated, while the dialogue is often characterised by miscommunication and distance between the characters - even when we first meet Rafik and Fahad travelling together in a railway compartment, we soon learn that Rafik barely knows his son. At the same time, Soomro's writing completely immerses us in a setting which will be unfamiliar to many. The dual perspectives in this novel are skilfully handled throughout, and this becomes a deeply moving story of love, loss and estrangement. The novel frequently put me in mind of E.M. Forster. especially Howards End, in its depictions of human relations and questions of inheritance, secrets and memory.

This is a highly impressive novel worthy of serious critical attention. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC to review.

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I really liked this book and I still don't really know what to say about it - it was that good. Well written, with a cast of well developed characters and a completely riveting storyline. It is such a powerful and thought provoking book that I will think about for a long time.

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It's good to see a queer story from Pakistan is published. Other Names for Love is a book filled with emotions, It is a beautiful story that needs to be read and shared.

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