At last, I have discovered a novel set in the Indus Valley Civilization, written for a South Asian audience, originally published in a South Asian language in 1998, and now translated into English and copyrighted just this year. Here’s why this is important to me: I want a South Asian perspective on the Indus Valley Civilization, and since we have no historic record and only an archaeological record, I cry out for South Asians to write novels about how they envision and evoke that ancient and enormous civilization. I’ll bet there are many such books written in the local languages for the enormous audience groups in South Asia, but I haven’t seen any translated into English until this one: Dilmun: A Novel Based on Indus Valley Civilization by Yaqoob Yawar.
I discovered this novel three days ago (Wednesday), then bought Amazon’s Kindle version for $4.99. I only read novels on my Kindle and the Kindle app on my phone (switching back and forth on a book when convenient)—and, no, I don’t get paid for recommending books or reading on Kindle. This Dilmun story has interrupted my other reading because it has captured my imagination, the translation is easy to read (well written in English), and the subject and setting are precisely what I’d like to see from South Asian authors. The translation is well-done by the author, which shouldn’t be surprising after reading his credits in the author link above. I am enchanted by this story, but I won’t reveal any spoilers. The novel is fast paced, its characters well developed, and the best (albeit only) evocation of the Indus Valley Civilization available. I am 35% into the novel and decided I should let you know as soon as possible.
I do not recommend this book for children and adolescents.
Yaqoob Yawar should publish his other fictional works in English (especially on Kindle). I, for one, will certainly buy all that are set in the Indus Valley Civilization.
I eagerly look forward to finishing this novel and writing a Goodreads review, probably next week. Beside enjoying the story, this novel evokes a rich vision of the IVC, one which was previously inaccessible to me from afar.
Now, I’m going to return to reading this novel.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke