The ten stories in We Are Not in Pakistan illuminate a paradox: love and fear draw us together, yet drive us to extremes of separation. Sixteen-year-old Kathleen believes her family would be normal if not for her Pakistani grandmother. Olena, a Ukrainian woman living in Moscow, discovers that her husband’s new posting will draw her dangerously close to her disapproving mother-in-law. Fletcher, a Lhasa Apso, finds himself in the middle of a game between his mistress and her commitment-phobic boyfriend. Tania tries to transform herself from an exotic dancer into the wife her doctor husband wants. Opposites clash and realign until the very last story, when Dr. Karanbir Singh receives an e-mail from a young woman who professes to be the child of his 1980s green-card marriage.
Eliciting amusement, curiosity, and wonder mingled with sadness for a post-9/11 world, Shauna Singh Baldwin lures us toward the displaced men, women, and other animals who populate these stories. Along the way, she explores our complex human responses to technology, art, and, most of all, our fellow humans.
“Baldwin is … far more overtly political than most of Canada’s younger novelists, and she becomes more ambitious with every book. … Shakes up the prettiness of much of the Canlit landscape. It wants to be global, and in this it succeeds.”– Globe and Mail
“Shauna Singh Baldwin is her own master.”– Times (London)
“Baldwin displays an uncanny knack for getting under the reader’s skin and stirring a potent cocktail of empathy, sadness, pity and rage. She has a gift for dialogue — an almost musical ear. Her writing is so strong and so consistent that she’ll make you forget you’re reading. And that alone is worth the price of entry.”– Montreal Gazette
“Shauna Singh Baldwin’s writing is, quite simply, brilliant.”– Atlantic Books Today