Pakistan: A hard country to write about

Anatol Lieven, author of Pakistan: A Hard Country, is in the country ahead of an appearance at the Karachi Literary Festival next weekend. His critics – who think he is too soft on Pakistan’s military dictators – won’t be surprised to hear that on Saturday he was defending Zia ul-Haq against charges he helped the religious right to prominence. More interesting to me though was his trouble finding a publisher…

The author also discussed the barriers present in trying to publish a nuanced view of the country’s problems and politics. Lieven recalled how the Penguin publishers told him that they thought the book would be about the Taliban, to which he’d retorted: “It’s about Pakistan”. He received the response, “But isn’t that the same thing?” Lieven was subsequently rejected by Penguin.


One thought on “Pakistan: A hard country to write about

  1. I can understand that what Penguin might have meant was that the real meat that would sell books and that readers would want to read was how Pakistan is riddled with Taliban and their sympathisers.

    Is Pakistan is riddled with Taliban and their sympathisers?

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