Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Walk in Midnight: A Novel

Everyone should check out Mohammad Sarwar's novel A Walk in Midnight.

The novel tells the story of Fakeer, who grows up in relative poverty in Pakistan but whose intelligence gets him into the best government schools and, eventually, a medical degree. He takes advantage of the U.S. doctor shortage in the 1960s to become one of the first in a wave of Pakistani doctors emigrating to the U.S. He finds success in the U.S.--even becoming a Yale professor for a while--but finally settles in to private practice in Texas. After his wife dies and he becomes wounded serving with Doctors Without Borders, Fakeer finds his way online, where he revels in alienating everyone he can. Eventually, he decides to retire to Pakistan, bringing his life full circle.

If you are interested in learning about life in Pakistan in the middle of the 20th century and the struggles of cultural assimilation--often told with great humor and wit--A Walk in Midnight is the novel for you. Because Sarwar is himself a radiologist (with a great many academic publications), the reader will get a great deal of verisimilitude in the portrayal of Fakeer. A combination of comedy and tragedy, science and mythology, poetry and prose, Sarwar's novel is full of complexity and depth.

As editor of Mohammad Sarwar's novel, I was able to read it many, many times. I honestly never got tired of it. I continued to find things in it with each reading as I worked with him on it. It was a great experience working with Dr. Sarwar, and I'm sure you'll have as great an experience reading his novel.