Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Where Are the Women Tabla Players?


A partly autobiographical piece that asks why there aren't any well-known women maestros of the tabla. I drew upon my own conflicted history with music teachers and music lessons and posed the question a few days ago to a famous male tabla pandit from Benares. I didn't care for the answer. It inspired me to write the article.

(Many folks have written to me since reading the article to share their knowledge of one or two women tabla players. While it’s incredibly heartening to know that the handful exists, the point I was trying to make was bigger…)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

THINNER THAN SKIN is Longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014!

Got the happy news yesterday:


The road to and through a book is hypnotic, but it's a lonely hypnosis. Perhaps this was even truer with Thinner than Skin, my fourth book, than with the others. 

So this feels good. Yes it does.

Friday, August 16, 2013

TRESPASSING is released in Romania!

With this lovely cover:

And seems to be receiving quite a bit of press, including these recent interviews.


(The English version is also available: http://bookaholic.ro/uzma-aslam-khan-writing-is-a-compulsion-i-have-to-do-it-it-isnt-a-choice.html#more-36917)

The book was also featured in Elle May as 'Book of the Month,' and there's an interview with me in Elle July. So if you understand Romanian, or know someone who does, or even if you don't, yet, take a look. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Horror On Nanga Parbat

My article on the massacre on Nanga Parbat, presumably to avenge the death of a Taliban leader by a drone strike, went up today on CounterPunch:

An extract from it:

On the night of Saturday, June 22, 11 men were slaughtered on Nanga Parbat’s base camp by a group of militants. In order to reach the camp at 4300m, the militants forced two local men to guide them. Even the trek to the camp is a treacherous one; it has one of the fastest elevation gains in the world, is encased in melting glaciers that hide deep crevices, requires crossing streams that can be high and bitterly cold, and maneuvering narrow paths bordered by giant boulders and ice walls. It is not a walk that can be taken without somber awareness of the smallness of human size. Unless you think your mission is greater. So great that local men with a level of skill and expertise that is in fact a kind of greatness should be threatened into playing a part in it. Before Saturday night, never had a murder been committed against foreigners here, let alone one in which local inhabitants had been made complicit. In bloodying their mountain, and their hands, an entire history and culture has been defiled.
What no self-appointed avenger of the US-led war has ever said is that these attacks primarily hurt Pakistanis. And on every level: through murder, the sacrilege of a land, the dishonoring of a culture that for centuries has survived peacefully on the land, as well as through the destruction of a tenuous economy... Add to this the toll the war has taken on other parts of the country and around 52,000 Pakistanis (have been) killed since 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11. Or 17. 3 Pakistani corpses for every 1 American corpse.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

More love for Thinner than Skin

Another lovely review. Thank you, Matthew Todd, for reading the book, for taking the time to think and feel on it so thoroughly.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Jordan Times reviews Thinner than Skin

Was thrilled to see this review of Thinner than Skin in The Jordan Times, my first appearance in the journal: 


Am I really being mentioned in the same breath as Gabriel Garcia Marquez?!?! Wooheee.

Happy and safe holidays to all. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

George Monbiot for The Guardian: Best article of the year?

One of the most moving articles I read this year was by George Monbiot (whom I've been in love with for at least ten years). See this excerpt:

"If the victims of Mr Obama's drone strikes are mentioned by the state at all, they are discussed in terms which suggest that they are less than human. The people who operate the drones, Rolling Stone magazine reports, describe their casualties as "bug splats", "since viewing the body through a grainy-green video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed". Or they are reduced to vegetation: justifying the drone war, Obama's counterterrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that "you've got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back." 

I'll never understand, but will continue to ask the question: how can the American public re-elect a president who says he'll continue a drone war that kills non-American kids, knowing that if he EVER referred to their own kids this way, he would not exactly be excused, let alone congratulated. Chew on that for Christmas, please. Non-American kids being killed right now by American bombs had stories, faces, names. They have families mourning for them still. They could also have had a new year.