Sanam Maher, a Karachi based journalist and author, has made it to the New York Times’ list of ‘100 notable books of 2019’ with her book on Qandeel Baloch. The section by NYT focuses on the year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
Maher’s book titled ‘A Woman Like Her: The Story Behind the Honor Killing of a Social Media Star’, follows the life of Pakistan’s late social media star Qandeel Baloch and her rise to fame. Delving into investigative research and length interviews, Maher traces Baloch’s life from a humble village where she grew up to her incarnation as a social media sensation. She also investigates her death, the reasons behind it and its meaning for modern day Pakistan.
“A breakthrough book, A Woman Like Her bracingly illuminates an increasingly global if yet under-covered phenomenon: the tragic collision between the forged selves of social media and the brute realities of ordinary life. It also describes, with rare intimacy, some profound cultural tumult in a society that is largely known for its political dramas” said Pankaj Mishra, a nominee for the Orwell Prize for Books.
Fatima Bhutto believes Sanam Maher is the “only one of Pakistan’s finest young writers’ who could carry “weighty themes like honour, fame, and violence with such deliberation and poise”.
‘A Woman like Her’ was originally published in 2019 and it has, since then, been recognized as one of the most important books coming out of Pakistan.