Emboldened with humour, wit and colour, Mira Sethi’s collection of stories that depict Pakistan, Are You Enjoying? is a page-turner that pulls you into the culture, with a vast influence of her nomadic experience of going from Karachi, Lahore and San Francisco. Notably included in many lists of books to look out for 2021, this has much justified anticipation, especially if you wish to escape Scotland for a day.
Mira Sethi is an actor and a writer. She grew up in Lahore and attended Wellesley College, after which Sethi worked as a books editor at The Wall Street Journal. She has written op-ed pieces for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, and this is her debut published short story collection.
Childhood best friends decide to marry in order to keep their sexuality a secret. A young heiress embarks on a secret affair, ending in devastation but not for the party who was braced for it. A glum divorcee reaches out to his American neighbour. A radicalised student’s preparations for his sister’s wedding in Lahore involved beating up the groom. An actress from a sheltered background in Karachi is forced to grow up fast on the set of her first major TV show where the real intrigue takes place off-screen. There is no shortage of drama in Mira’s tales.
From one of Pakistan’s exciting young voices comes this exhilarating, audacious and lively debut story collection; upending traditional notions of identity, scrutinising the relationship between power and desire, bristling with energy and wit. Evocative with flavour and characters, Sethi has a fruitful career in writing ahead of her. Personally, with each tale, I was looking forward to the next and the drama that would ensue. Vivid and visceral, Sethi opens the door for you to fall in love with her characters, particular Soni, who we are left with the final story.
Remarkable, witty and descriptive, Are You Enjoying? will take you on many journeys through Pakistan, all of which dynamic and surprising. I’m curious about where Sethi will go next.
Are You Enjoying? is out on 27th May, published by Bloomsbury