I have read some amazing books published in 2011, but perhaps none more so than Mirza Waheed's novel The Collaborator. Waheed’s novel is deeply political, unsurprisingly so given its setting. Its narrator, a young Kashmiri man, ransacks corpses for a living under the directions of his terrifying boss, Captain Kadian, but out of this dark premise, Waheed builds a novel that is surprisingly tender and pitch perfect in its voice.
Among the books I look forward to reading in 2012 are Pankaj Mishra’s The Rise of Asia and Vijay Prashad’s Uncle Swami. I expect to learn something from both of them about the troubling relationship between east and west, between tradition and modernity, and also something about the protests taking place throughout the world, from small villages in China to Wall Street in New York.