Karachi Vice: Life and Death in a Divided City

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In her account of Pakistan’s turbulent second city, teeming with a population of almost twenty million people, Samira Shackle derives her title, Karachi Vice, from the celebrated TV series. The similarity to the show takes a break as fear seeps through the pages more effectively than among the characters on the screen. Whether living in the older, crowded sections of the city or in nearby villages, the struggle differs only in physical closeness, not in its intensity.

From her vantage point Shackle, now living abroad, has returned to visit her homeland, profiling people to illustrate the inescapable violence confronted daily, the unremitting challenges each witness in their chosen careers. She records stories of their childhood in a world the west no longer sees, describing both the work and family life of a teacher, community planner, crime reporter, and ambulance driver. All demonstrate skills acquired through hands-on learning and experience, the need for the tenacity to combat terrifying threats.

Vice and violence in Karachi are played out as one political party ousts another, politics not our familiar television chit-for-chat, but a twenty-four-hour menace where intended situational improvements fail to succeed. Yet despite the hardships she describes, Karachi is indisputably a thriving city.


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Author Samira Shackle
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Melville House
Publish Date 07-Sep-2021
ISBN 9781612199429
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2021
Category Travel
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