A world-class tale of love and deceit, rivalry and destiny from the Lahore-based writer Uzma Aslam Khan.
'Standing in a room with eight thousand tiny creatures, witnessing them perform a dance that few humans even knew occurred; this was life. Everywhere she looked, each caterpillar nosed the air like a wand and out passed silk… When Dia watched one spin, she came closer to understanding the will of God than at any other time.'
Dia is the daughter of a silk farmer, Riffat – an innovative, decisive businesswoman. Like her mother, Dia seems at first sight unrestricted, spirited and resourceful. She seems free. But freedom has its own borders, patrolled by the covetous and the zealous, and there are those who yearn to jump the fence.
Daanish has come back to Karachi for his father's funeral, all the way from America, a land where there are plenty of rules but few restrictions. When Dia and Daanish meet, they chafe against all the formalities. It is left to a handful of silkworms, slipped inside a friend's dupatta, tickling skin, to rupture the fragile peace of both their houses – to make the space in which Dia and Daanish can create something together…
'A story of cultural and ethnic conflict in spare and elegant prose that resonates beyond its immediate setting' Observer 'A haunting and beautiful book' Glasgow Sunday Mail 'Original and emotional... as intricately patterned and vivid as lengths of top-quality silk.' Sunday Telegraph 'Cocoons are not the only things that explode in this novel. The silken prose emphasises the conflict between the tender subject and a world (in this case Pakistan) where violence of every sort has become institutionalised. It is a self-confident novel and marks the emergence of a new generation of Pakistani novelists unencumbered by the icons or the ideology of a wretched state.' Tariq Ali