THE PRISONER by Fakhar Zaman


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 The Prisoner ($28.95; Oct. 22, 1996; 176 pp.; 0-7206-1010-9): The first English translation of this claustrophobic short novel, originally published in 1984, recounts the ordeal of a radical Pakistani journalist imprisoned ``because he wrote for the people in their language'' and is now awaiting execution. Though the story is based on Zaman's own experiences, it feels curiously emotionless and didactic. Only in the consolatory poems, political and religious, that are interspersed throughout the text--and are, ostensibly, part of the writing for which the eponymous ``Z'' is being punished--do we find the reality of an individual sensibility and personality, rather than the obtrusive presence of a political concept only half-successfully made flesh.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1996
ISBN: 0-7206-1010-9
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Dufour
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996