The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Divided Nation by Declan Walsh


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Declan Walsh’s electrifying portrait of Pakistan after 9/11 captures the sweep of this “strange, wondrous and benighted country” through the dramatic lives of nine fascinating individuals. On assignment for the New York Times and other outlets, Walsh traveled from the raucous port of Karachi to the salons of Lahore, and from Baluchistan to the mountains of Waziristan. He met a diverse cast of extraordinary Pakistanis—a chieftain readying for war at his desert fort, a retired spy skulking through the borderlands, and a crusading lawyer risking death for her beliefs, among others.

Unbeknownst to Walsh, an intelligence agent was tracking him. Written in the aftermath of Walsh’s dramatic deportation, The Nine Lives of Pakistan concludes with an astonishing encounter with that agent, and his revelations about Pakistan’s powerful security state. Intimate and complex, attuned to the centrifugal forces of history, identity, and faith, The Nine Lives of Pakistan offers an unflinching account of life in a precarious, vital country.