The Vale Dweller Is a Newest Addition in Kashmiri Fiction

SRINAGAR, KASHMIR: The Vale Dweller announces a new arresting voice in Kashmiri fiction. With book endorsements from writers such as Shakoor Rather, Nayeema Mahjoor and JCB nominated author Shabir Ahmad Mir, this poignant novel written by columnist turned fiction writer Naveed Qazi tries to embody itself as a literary plea for a transformative change in Kashmir towards peace, prosperity, and is a rational attempt of literature involving intellectual and philosophical realms.

First self-published in 2019 by Amazon KDP, the novel is pitched by New Delhi based The Book Bakers Literary Agency, and is traditionally published by Alcove Publishers. In its 194 pages, the author laments on identity crises, economic troubles of the city, hostile political awakenings, political corruption and transcends the nature of storytelling due to usage of symbolisms, and a parable forming nature, due to multi-faceted characters. As there are several fictional places, made up organisations, and other strong imaginary things presented in the book’s universe, there are dashes of magical realism as well.
While the story mostly revolves around a neighbourhood, the novel, in its strong character arcs, involving several unusual characters, even generalises the human dimensions and turbulency of Kashmir since 1990s.

The characters consist of an introspective protagonist, a bibliophile friend working as part-time editor, a university professor turned politician, an assassination survivor, an old writer imparting stories to his scribes, a jail bird activist, a catch all revolutionary columnist, a moral centric bookseller and other minor characters that emerge through the story in an interesting manner.

The Vale Dweller is a narrative experiment about the contemporary life of the place in a coming-of-age story, through a bildungsroman type of narrative. What strikes the chord with the reader is the perpetual confusion which the youth has been sucked into. The story is dark, disturbing and challenges certain notions of Kashmiri psyche as well.

The book is not only an elegy for the city’s newest problems, but it also serves as an expression of esteem for Kashmir’s cultural and social past, witnessed during the years after the partition through a certain form of nostalgia, where the life still had mundane, simple, and feudal aspects to it.
Price: 299 INR