Saturday, February 25, 2006

House of Peace

I dont believe in concidence.. Nazia Peers new novel, House of Peace has been sitting at my bedside table for two months now.. I attempted a read when i first received the long-awaited gift arrival. I held it in anticipation of all that i had heard and imagined. Savoured the autographic note. But alas, with so much of life swirling around me, distracting and demanding more time than i could muster up, Salaamat evaded me, or rather, i evaded it. Until. Hajj. Removing myself from the mundane. Returning, hopeful and equipped with an altered mindset. And a new read unstoppable, of a fragile masterpiece. The time had come for me to appreciate my read, there was a reason to absorb its message now.
Sociological relevance gleams like urgent rays through the pages of this parody of identities and intricate biography that spans delicately beyond the bounds of national geographies and cultural dogmas. And more so, Dr. Peers tale plasters across the canvas of generational difference in a way that clearly defines how the traditional mindset and (progressive) contemporary thought might engage each other. But the truly engaging detail that begs mentioning, is the ways in which Peer cunningly allows the reader a peek into her world, the world of a Muslim professional brought up in contemporary western South Africa. To the outside reader, there might appear deep contradictions in the ways in which we are able to relate to the general lifestyle, keeping in mind the immensly sacred nature of the cultural underpinnings of upbringing. Not only does she show skill in this illustration of the inside world to the spectator reader, but she is able to engage a number of contemporary readers who can both adequately and animatedly identify with her characters.
Read more about House of Peace (Salaamat) at

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