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Slum Child was launched in Pakistan at the 2011 Karachi Literature Festival; eminent writer Aamer Hussein and English academic Dr. Claire Chambers spoke at the launch, which was held on February 5th at the Carlton Hotel.
Bina and the other speakers had an hour-long conversation about writing, the themes in Bina’s work, life in Karachi, and issues of tolerance and diversity in Pakistan. She answered questions from the audience and signed books after the launch ended.
Here’s a link to an article about the Festival:
Good news! Slum Child is now widely available at Liberty Books in Karachi and through other outlets in Lahore and Islamabad. http://www.libertybooks.com/books/fiction/slum-child.html
Laila, a young Pakistani Christian girl, lives in Karachi’s poorest quarter, Issa Colony. The grim circumstances of Laila’s life are counter-balanced by her energy, vitality and determination to survive.
Nine-year-old Laila is spirited and intelligent. She lives in a slum but she is happy: she’s got plenty of friends to play with, and is well looked after by her beloved elder sister, Jumana, while her mother works as a maid for rich families across town. But when Jumana contracts TB, their mother cannot afford the medicines that would save her life. Following Jumana’s lingering, painful death, and her mother’s emotional collapse, Laila discovers that her feckless stepfather is planning to sell her into prostitution to pay his gambling debts. Running away is her only option.
Finding help from unexpected quarters, Laila makes her way to one of the families her mother worked for, and is taken into their household as a servant. There she finds unimaginable luxury, but also great unhappiness within this privileged family.
At first Laila’s gift for making friends serves her well, but then disaster strikes, and Laila must flee again. But where is she running, and to whom? How can she hide from the terrible violence that threatens her? And how can she hope to find love, affection, and the chance at a normal life?
Slum Child is the story of a girl forced to run alone, strong and courageous, to a future that cannot deny her happiness.
For more info, please go to http://www.westlandbooks.in/book_details.php?cat_id=4&book_id=217
Slum Child will be available soon at Liberty Books in Pakistan