3 people have read In the Light of What We Know

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

One September morning in 2008, an investment banker approaching forty, his career in collapse and his marriage unravelling, receives a surprise visitor at his West London home. He struggles to place the dishevelled figure carrying a backpack, until he recognizes a friend from his student days, a brilliant man who disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances. The friend has resurfaced to make a confession of unsettling power.

Theirs is the age-old story of the bond between two men and the betrayal of one by the other. As the friends begin to talk, and as their room becomes a world, a journey begins that is by turns exhilarating, shocking, intimate and strange. Set against the breaking of nations and beneath the clouds of economic crisis, and moving between Kabul, New York, Oxford, London and Islamabad, In the Light of What We Know tells the story of people wrestling with unshakeable legacies of class and culture, and pushes at the great questions of love, origins, science, faith and war.

In an extraordinary feat of imagination, Zia Haider Rahman has woven the seismic upheavals of our young century into a novel of rare compassion, scope, and courage.

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black prize and longlisted for the 2015 Orwell Prize.

Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781447231233
Published: 01/01/2015

Zia Haider Rahman

Zia Haider Rahman

Born in rural Bangladesh, Zia Haider Rahman was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Cambridge, Munich, and Yale Universities. He has worked as an investment banker on Wall Street and as an international human-rights lawyer. His first novel, In the Light of What We Know, won the 2015 James Tait Black Prize, was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Specsavers National Book Awards 2014, and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Orwell Prize for Fiction.


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“Wide-armed, hospitable, disputatious, worldly, cerebral. Ideas and provocations abound on every page.”

James Wood, New Yorker