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Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Brick Walls: Tales of Hope and Courage from Pakistan is a heartwarming collection of short stories filled with larger-than-life characters and the seemingly impossible challenges they face. You will be captivated by these fictional depictions of everyday Pakistanis who struggle with poverty, violence, corruption and abuse, yet rise from the ashes stronger and more enduring ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published June 3rd 2015 by FB Publishing (first published May 31st 2015)
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Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although I enjoyed the first story in this collection, I felt that the author-voice was intrusive, pushing her agenda just a little too hard, defining the feelings and meanings in play too tightly. It’s an agenda I support, but the effect is still a little uncomfortable.

However, as I journeyed through the book, I changed my feelings towards it, I got cosy, and I got to like it. The characters are likeable and the scenarios varied. Personally, I found it quite conservative in outlook, for exampl
Sa'diyya  Nesar
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A well-written and moving book where Saadia takes us behind the stereotypical walls of modern day Pakistan. A country that has been under the spotlight for many years, due to the war on terrorism, however with still many people not knowing about the everyday life that Pakistani citizens face.

Saadia paves the way for readers to have a glimpse of what it may be like, where she constructs characters in seven short stories from different backgrounds ranging from the young to old, male to female, se
Naz (Read Diverse Books)
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review can be found at my blog:

Mini Review: A moving collection of stories with universal themes that reflect the tragedies, flaws, talents, hopes, and ambitions of Pakistan’s people.
Nancy Agafitei
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This outstanding first fiction both entertains and informs. Its seven short stories provide a glimpse into an often-stereotyped part of the world. It shows us a culture that is surprisingly diverse, with characters whose experiences are unique, but whose emotions are universal. The many issues raised will make this book an excellent choice for book club discussions.
Hend Hegazi
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Brick Walls is a series of short stories that provides readers with a view of the Pakistani society. With each new story, Faruqi proves that she is an adept author, able to bring to the pages a rainbow of Pakistani experiences. Some stories paint the sad reality with strokes which compel empathy into the hearts of readers, while other stories brighten us, even eliciting a few laughs.

All of the characters in this book – no matter how unrelated – share one important characteristic: love of their
Erin Sandlin
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first, I picked up this book because it piqued my interest. It purports to offer a glimpse of ordinary people who live beneath the veneer of our perceptions fostered by media and politics.

I was not disappointed. I hesitate to use the word 'charming' in the same sentence as I speak about these deeply emotive stories, because they are not winsical or superficial. Each short tale is a glimpse into the life of an individual living in a country so often misunderstood. Faruqi paints an unsuspected
Kelsey Banerjee
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories will give you something rare in Western literature about Southeast Asia - Authenticity. Faruqi's perspective is something sorely lacking in the media we consume about Pakistan. Each story is not only expertly written, but each character and local is treated with tenderness, compassion, and understanding. It is a true work of empathy, and the reality you experience is very near to the everyday people who live these lives.

I've been in India 3 years, and albeit the
Marty Troyer
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Saadia has given us a true gift. She has given us our humanity back by showing us the humanity of others.

Her stories reflect the lives we'd live if we were her characters. Actually, they tell the stories of the lives we already do live. What's extraordinary about her stories is that it remains impossible to think of people as somehow different, or other than us.

There is no more us and them, only Us. This is the exact message our world so desperately needs. And she is creating empathy where befor
Dennis Fischman
Jun 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
There are few works of fiction in English that tell the story of everyday life in Pakistan. Saadia Faruqi has filled the gap with this collection of short stories. From an inexpert seamstress trying to make enough money to heal her sick son, to a Pakistani politician's daughter living the high life until she is forced to escape an arranged marriage, to a rapper falling in love with the journalist who is interviewing him about his poverty-stricken childhood, she lays out her tales one by one, lik ...more
Morninglight Mama
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
These short stories present people of all ages in a variety of walks of life in modern day Pakistan. Though there are cultural touch-points that may not resonate with everyone, there is a wonderful sense of universality to the characters' inner thoughts and motivations. Faruqi brings the characters to life with strong voices, speaking out (or just thinking against) systemic issues of misogyny, poverty, and inequities in the criminal justice system, among others. Giving insight into experiences t ...more
Karimah Grayson
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Saadia did a great job weaving stories from different perspectives within Pakistan. From the less fortunate to those most fortunate. She helped me open my eyes that although one lives in a Muslim country, there are still trials and tribulations one may have regarding religion and family. I love how she had one item that was an important piece throughout each short story. I highly recommend this story for all.
Amanda J
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful selection of short stories by Saadia Faruqi identifying many struggles and triumphs of daily life in Pakistan. Quite a breath of fresh air from the constant media narratives of Pakistan, yet still acknowledging the prevalent problems in society. Encouraging, eye-opening, and highly recommended.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good to meet Saadia Faruqi at her reading at Kramerbooks in DC. So happy to get to read stories of people in Pakistan. Thanks to Shahina for letting us know about this,
Tammy Downing
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won this book from Goodreads Giveaways. These short stories were wonderfully written and actually full of hope and courage. The ages of the characters ranged from young to old.
Pakistani American author, Saadia Faruqi, wanted to convey a different image of her native land than the one that predominates in Western media. As she says in her introduction to her short story collection, Brick Walls:

“Yes, the poverty is deplorable, the politicians are corrupt, and religious strife is troubling. But it is also a nation full of kind-hearted individuals struggling to make their society better with optimism and resolve. That’s the Pakistan I want people to know about.”

The result
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed these inspiring short stories about people living in Pakistan. I liked learning about the culture, and I liked that these stories were uplifting and focused on people doing good and overcoming challenges.
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poems-stories
This is a collection of heartfelt everyday stories, not censored media stories. This is a collection of characters with morals, who seek honest connections and realizations. It can be hard and dangerous to try to escape your life, and nearly impossible when you are alone. In these stories, someone always comes along to make a change, for better or worse. Saadia Faruqi does a marvellous job interweaving several stories into one, seven times over, to capture a true-to-life image of the diverse and ...more
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Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author, essayist and interfaith activist. She writes the children’s early reader series “Yasmin” published by Capstone and other books for children, including middle grade novels “A Place At The Table” (HMH/Clarion 2020) co-written with Laura Shovan, and “A Thousand Questions” (Harper Collins 2020). She has also written “Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage fr ...more

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