MOHSIN’S LIFE I N BOOKS
Asterix the Gaul by René Goscinny
I used to read these comics with my dad. I derived pleasure from them when I was six years old, and equally when I was a university student. Charlotte’s Web by EB White One of the best novels about death. I read it to my daughter, who is very forceful in her preference for female protagonists.
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Not only is this about an epic quest, but it’s an epic quest to read. But as a young boy I was so gripped that I devoured it in a summer.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
This is the story of a mother and daughter, and the brutality and aftermath of slavery. Toni taught me to listen to the voice of a novel, so I read it aloud.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Manto was one of the great masters of the short story. He wrote about sex and politics in such a raw way, making me realise it was possible to write about Lahore like that.
Kingdom’s End by Saadat Hasan Manto
Didion’s intelligence, her observations and the steadiness of her prose throughout these essays, which recount her experiences of California in the 1960s, are breathtaking.