In the Light of What We Know
In the Light of What We Know
A Novel
Zia Haider Rahman

Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books

A bold, epic debut novel set during the war and financial crisis that defined the beginning of our century

One September morning in 2008, an investment banker approaching forty, his career in collapse and his marriage unraveling, receives a surprise visitor at his West London townhouse. In the disheveled figure of a South Asian male carrying a backpack, the banker recognizes a long-lost friend, a mathematics prodigy who disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances. The friend has resurfaced to make a confession of unsettling power.

In the Light of What We Know takes us on a journey of exhilarating scope--from Kabul to London, New York, Islamabad, Oxford, and Princeton--and explores the great questions of love, belonging, science, and war. It is an age-old story: the friendship of two men and the betrayal of one by the other. The visitor, a man desperate to climb clear of his wrong beginnings, seeks atonement; and the narrator sets out to tell his friend's story but finds himself at the limits of what he can know about the world--and, ultimately, himself. Set against the breaking of nations and beneath the clouds of economic crisis, this surprisingly tender novel chronicles the lives of people carrying unshakable legacies of class and culture as they struggle to tame their futures.

In an extraordinary feat of imagination, Zia Haider Rahman has telescoped the great upheavals of our young century into a novel of rare intimacy and power.

Title In the Light of What We Know
Subtitle A Novel
Author Zia Haider Rahman
Publisher Farrar Straus and Giroux
Title First Published 22 April 2014
Format Hardcover
Nb of pages 497 p.
ISBN-10 0374175624
ISBN-13 9780374175627
Publication Date 22 April 2014
Main content page count 497
Weight 32 oz.
List Price $27.00

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