In the Light of What We Know longlisted for Guardian First Book Award

In the Light of What We Know, the debut novel frOm Zia Haider Rahman, has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

07/08/2014
2 minutes to read


Hooray! In the Light of What We Know, the debut novel from Zia Haider Rahman, has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. 

In her review in the Guardian, Alex Clark wrote, 'The book's depth is utterly absorbing, its stories as real in their effect as they are illusory'.

The award is open to all genres across fiction and non-fiction; here's the full longlist:

Readers' choice
Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan (CB editions)

Fiction
Young Skins by Colin Barrett (Jonathan Cape)
In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman (Picador)
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Sceptre)
After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry (Serpent's Tail)
We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas (4th Estate)

Non-fiction
Iceberg by Marion Coutts (Atlantic)
Bricks and Mortals by Tom Wilkinson (Bloomsbury)
Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos (Bodley Head)
Do No Harm by Henry Marsh (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
American Interior by Gruff Rhys (Hamish Hamilton)

The judges are authors Anne Enright and Mary Beard, MP Tristram Hunt and psychotherapist Josh Cohen; Waterstones reading groups will also have the opportunity to feed into the final decision

The winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced in November.

In the Light of What We Know

by Zia Haider Rahman

Book cover for 9781447231233


One September morning in 2008, an investment banker approaching forty, his career in collapse and his marriage unravelling, receives a surprise visitor at his West London home. He struggles to place the dishevelled figure carrying a backpack, until he recognizes a friend from his student days, a brilliant man who disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances. The friend has resurfaced to make a confession of unsettling power.

Theirs is the age-old story of the bond between two men and the betrayal of one by the other. As the friends begin to talk, and as their room becomes a world, a journey begins that is by turns exhilarating, shocking, intimate and strange. Set against the breaking of nations and beneath the clouds of economic crisis, and moving between Kabul, New York, Oxford, London and Islamabad, In the Light of What We Know tells the story of people wrestling with unshakeable legacies of class and culture, and pushes at the great questions of love, origins, science, faith and war.

In an extraordinary feat of imagination, Zia Haider Rahman has woven the seismic upheavals of our young century into a novel of rare compassion, scope, and courage.