Austenistan by Laaleen Sukhera

Laaleen Sukhera, founder of Jane Austen Society of Pakistan, along with few other Austen enthusiasts compiled this collection of short stories as a tribute to the author whose many female protagonists have won our hearts over the years. Full of quirky situations and funny replies, each of the tales from Pakistan are fun to read and mull over. Whether the short stories win over the Austen fans is another question.

Some noteworthy things about the book :-

Every story quotes a line from the classic that it is adapted from and the plot is a sketchy outline of some of Austen’s classics.

The embellished clothes, ethereal decorations, extravagant weddings and flavorsome food all draw a parallel to the Victorian era that we encounter in the classics they are derived from, reminding us that there is more to Pakistan than the media makes us assume.

Laaleen and the other authors project a reflection of beautiful cities such as Lahore and Karachi and makes the readers fall in love with the dreamy ambience.

However …

The subtle line between funny and witty that is so well-defined in Austen’s works was particularly lacking in each of the stories.

The heroines of Austenistan lack the feisty attitude and punch that we have grown to love having read Emma, Lady Susan, Pride and Prejudice

What I absolutely hated (yes, some strong emotions here) was the fact that they have reduced an Austen recreation to an inevitable chick-lit, which made me question my thoughts on Jane Austen’s works.

Overall, it is a fun book to read but if you are an Austen devotee, you might want to keep your hands away from this one.

Publisher : Bloomsbury India

Pages : 179

Rating : 3 / 5

You can buy the book here.


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