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Osama Siddique
ISBN # : 9780670090044
Publisher: Random House
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The debut novel of Osama Siddique, Snuffing Out The Moon, stands out among this contemporary literature. The novel consists of six different stories of apparently disconnected people and civilizations. But as the characters and stories develop the reader finds out that all these disjointed stories are connected by a common thread of freedom and hope. The variation in time periods, from the BC era to future centuries, becomes less apparent and the reader finds common patterns emerging in each individual story. In many ways, the novel reminded me of Quratul Aian Haiders The River of Fire which also covers a time period from the Buddha to modern South Asia. Mr. Siddiques knowledge of history and civilization is perfectly matched to his imagination. This makes his characters come alive in the environment that he creates around them. He uses a beautiful selection of quotations in both Urdu and English to introduce each section of the book. It is a very interesting novel which deals with the interaction and struggles of different lives. The author has the skill to keep the reader engaged even with multiple stories running in parallel. The stories live up to the title of the novel, taken from the poem by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, that nothing is truly a failure until you can snuff out the moon. It is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary South Asian fiction.

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