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April 11, 2019


#Dublin Award shortlist 2019 Kamila Shamsie

by NancyElin

  • Author: Kamila Shamsie
  • Title: Home Fire
  • Published: 2017
  • #DublinLiteraryAward2019
  • List of Challenges 2019
  • Monthly plan
  • PREDICTION:  this book is MY choice for Dublin Literary Award 2019!


  1. Man Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist (2017)
  2. Costa Book Award Nominee for Novel (2017)
  3. Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) Nominee for International Book (2018)
  4. Women’s Prize for Fiction (2018)
  5. Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction (2017)


Shortlist: 4/10 ( not wasting my time on 6 selected books, sorry)


  • Reservoir 13 – J. McGregorREAD(…review Lisa)
  • Home Fire – Kamila ShamsieREAD (immigrants…review Brona)
  • Exit West – M. HamidNOT reading (review Lisa, Brona) (..enough of Middle-Eastern city)
  • Lincoln in the Bardo – George SaundersREAD (review Brona)
  • Midwinter Break –  Bernard MacLavertyREAD  (review Brona)
  • Compass –  M. Énard NOT reading – Prix Goncourt 2015  (review Reese)
  • Idaho –  Emily Ruskovich NOT reading (family epic, rugged Idaho)
  • A Boy in Winter –  Rachel SeiffertNOT reading  (WWII, review Lisa)
  • History of Wolves –  Emily FridlundNOT reading(review Lisa)
  • Conversations With Friends S. Rooney  NOT reading (…had enough of Rooney)


MY SHORTLIST  …books I think should have been shortlisted 0/6

  • Brother –  David Chariandy –  (Powerful, bold and timely, Canadian)
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine –  G. Honeyman  (review Reese)
  • The Hate U Give –  A. Thomas –  (..must read this, NYT Bestseller YA novel))
  • Tin Man –  Sarah Winman –  (review Lisa)



  1. Home Fire is a contemporary
  2. re-imagining of the Greek tragedy Antigone
  3. …in 5 acts…locations.
  4. Setting: The novel is set in five locations:
  5. London; Amherst, Massachusetts,
  6. Istanbul,  Raqqa, Syria and Karachi, Pakistan
  7. Structure: The book is divided into 5 parts.
  8. Characters: In each part one character
  9. Isma – elder sister, raised twins when their mother died
  10. Eamonn – son Home Secretary, lover Aneeka
  11. Parvaiz – twin, jihadi
  12. Aneeka – twin,  law student
  13. Karamat Lone  – Home Secretary
  14. speaks to the  reader
  15. …we are the chorus in a  Greek play!
  16. Theme: The theme is resistance.
  17. Aneeka refuses to obey the law
  18. Aneeka defies British Home Secretary Karamat Lone
  19. …who stated that a jihadi may not return to UK …dead or alive.
  20. Climax: Aneeka keeps vigil by her brother’s coffin in public park – protest!
  21. Symbol: soil
  22. With a dust mask on her face, dark hair a cascade of mud
  23. onlookers hear a deep howl…a howl Aneeka
  24. calls up from the earth through her into the office of the Home Secretary
  25. …watching on the TV
  26. She scrapes some dirt with her fingernails
  27. to properly bury her brother.
  28. Aneeka choose her dignity and
  29. …that of her brother above her happiness.


Last thoughts:

  1. The novel tries to stay close to the original plot of Antigone.
  2. Shamsie has been able to include the
  3. theme of civil disobedience
  4. into a modern setting with
  5. …explosive political (jihad, ISIS) undertones.
  6. The book has been reviewed by
  7. …so many readers it is impossible
  8. to add more praise than it has accrued.
  9. Strong point: IMO  Act 3 Parvaiz was the most impressive.
  10. Shamsie revealed why how Parvaiz was groomed to
  11. leave his home to answer the call of Jihad.
  12. Two years after publication
  13. this book is still very confronting.
  14. The so-called caliphate of Islamic State, also known as Isis,
  15. in Iraq and Syria is defeated but remains a threat.
  16. Countries must engage in a delicate balancing act between
  17. legal obligations and political correctness.
  18. Strong point: thought provoking
  19. …I had to think long and hard….
  20. how families must feel
  21. losing their children to the Islamic state.
  22. #Devastated


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 12 2019

    Woo hoo, big call Nancy. Good for you.

    • Apr 12 2019

      Shamsie should have won the Booker Prize 2017….this
      book was 100 x better than Lincoln in the Bardo!

  2. Apr 22 2019

    I agree with you about the grooming. A shocking chapter, but it made me see how it could happen.

    • Apr 22 2019

      My reaction exactly…
      You hear about grooming but now Shamsie put it on paper.
      I’m sure her version is the grooming-light…it can get pretty gruesome
      training zealots!

      • Apr 22 2019

        I guess it’s how they get them used to brutality…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. #Dublin Literary Award shortlist 2019 | NancyElin
  2. Home Fire, by Kamila Shamsie | ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

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