The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State

December 5, 2020
The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State

A New York Times New Book to Watch For (November2020)The former New York Times Pakistan bureau chief paintsan arresting, up-close portrait of a fracturedcountry.Declan Walsh is one of the New York Times's most distinguishedinternational correspondents. His electrifying portrait of Pakistanover a tumultuous decade captures the sweep of this strange,wondrous, and benighted country through the dramatic lives of ninefascinating individuals.On assignment as the country careened between crises, Walshtraveled from the raucous port of Karachi to the salons of Lahore,and from Baluchistan to the mountains of Waziristan. He met adiverse cast of extraordinary Pakistanis—a chieftain readying forwar at his desert fort, a retired spy skulking through theborderlands, and a crusading lawyer risking death for her beliefs,among others. Through these "nine lives" he describes a country onthe brink—a place of creeping extremism and political chaos, butalso personal bravery and dogged idealism that defy easystereotypes.Unbeknownst to Walsh, however, an intelligence agent wastracking him. Written in the aftermath of Walsh's abruptdeportation, The Nine Lives of Pakistan concludes with anastonishing encounter with that agent, and his revelations aboutPakistan's powerful security state. Intimate and complex, attunedto the centrifugal forces of history, identity, and faith, The NineLives of Pakistan offers an unflinching account of life in aprecarious, vital country.