Reviews

  • A haunting illustration of how, at the end of last century, normal life became impossible for many of those who call Kashmir home . . . Waheed's talent lies in the vivid, convincing detail he brings to descriptions of everyday lives. The careful meshing of domestic intimacy with political events is done deftly, with integrity. Like his great-grandfather's gold painting, Waheed's work will undoubtedly endure

    Financial Times
  • Waheed writes about war with a devastating and unflinching calm, with the melancholy wisdom of someone attuned to but never hardened by its horrors . . . He has a formidable insight into his large cast of characters, from the elegant grief-stricken principal of the girls' school taken over by Indian officers to the spoilt boy-turned-insurgent who betrays his own father

    Guardian
  • A harrowing tale of love in a time of conflict and change . . . The language in this book is lyrical, indeed at times it seems to be poetry masquerading as prose. The Book of Gold Leaves is the sort of book one can read and re-read - and then read again

    News on Sunday
  • A dazzling and heart-breaking story set in war-torn Kashmir - essential reading

    Stylist
  • Waheed writes about Kashmir with compassion, not anger . . . [and] one finds a strange and terrible beauty. There are no heroes or villains in this exquisite book, just a palpable grief for what might have been

    India Today, 'Books of the Year'
  • A beautifully told and finely choreographed story of love, art and conflict in Kashmir

    Kamila Shamsie, Guardian, Books of the Year
  • Waheed's new novel returns to 1990s Kashmir. If The Collaborator was journalistic in its zeal to explain Kashmir . . . [here] what keeps you reading is the story. He relies on family dynamics to drive the action . . . it's ultimately how the novel accounts for the moral toll of war

    Sunday Telegraph
  • Poetic and political with a warm sensuousness, The Book of Gold Leaves is the year's best book. As beautifully written as the paintings on papier mache that one of its central characters executes, this fine examination of the Kashmiri condition through a Sunni-Shia love story leaves the reader both wretched and transformed, and brings us to a greater understanding of the fragility of love in a harsh climate

    Hindustan Times, 'Books of the Year'
  • Like the gold leaves of the book's title, Waheed's prose is like pixie dust, sprinkled all over a city of heartbreak and despair. It is a city that has found in Waheed, the great-grandson of a much-admired papier-mache artist, its truest troubadour. Read him and weep.

    Kaveree Bamzai, India Today
  • A romance set against the backdrop of unrest in the Kashmiri valley in the 1990s, Waheed's second novel explores the reasons behind young men taking to bloodshed

    Scroll India, 'Books of the Year'

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