Five x Five
Madeleine Thien on Ghalib Islam:
I felt incredibly humbled as I read Fire in the Unnameable Country, a novel that provoked and astonished me, disoriented and moved me. Ghalib Islam’s linguistic and conceptual playfulness are guided by a deep humanity: to open as many doors as possible onto the countries, peoples and lives we have deemed unnameable. In doing so, he has created something that feels increasingly rare — a novel unafraid of fiction’s imagination. I look forward, with the greatest pleasure, to all the work to come.
Ghalib Islam has a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Toronto, where he was mentored by Margaret Atwood. His first novel, Fire in the Unnameable Country (Hamish Hamilton Canada), was met with critical acclaim in 2004 and hailed as “one of the buzziest novels of the season.” Islam lives in Toronto.He was selected by Madeleine Thien.
Madeleine Thien was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust’s Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for emerging writers in 1999. She is the author of the story collection Simple Recipes and two novels, Certainty, which won the 2006 Amazon.ca First Novel Award,and Dogs at the Perimeter, which was shortlisted for the International Literature Prize, awarded in Berlin. Thien lives in Montreal.
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