Three men race against time to take possession of a sacred 5,000-year-old Buddhist sculpture: Khalid, a leading Pakistani antiquities dealer, arranges for the illegal importation of the statue from neighbouring Afghanistan. Ghalib, a wealthy art collector with political aspirations, has purchased the statue for his private collection. Adeel, a highly recommended ex-military officer, is hired by Khalid to transport the sculpture to its final destination.
When Adeel first views the statue in a cave in Bamiyan — known as “the place of shining light” — he has a profound spiritual reaction and decides to steal the sculpture for himself. When Khalid and Ghalib realize their prized possession is missing, they conspire to do whatever it takes to have it returned — before it’s lost forever.
Taking readers on a wild journey from the valleys of Afghanistan, to the magical mountain kingdoms of Northern Pakistan, and the diplomatic enclaves of Islamabad, The Place of Shining Light is a riveting and timely story of art, war, greed, and spirituality.
Nazneen Sheikh has written several works of fiction and non-fiction for adult and young adult audiences, including Moon Over Marrakech: A Memoir of Loving Too Deeply in a Foreign Land, Chopin People, and Ice Bangles. Her culinary memoir, Tea and Pomegranates: A Memoir of Food, Family and Kashmir was a critically acclaimed success. Nazneen was born in Kashmir and went to school in Pakistan and Texas. She lives in Toronto.
The Place of Shining Light has the intrigue of a thriller. The world of political and military corruption, bribery, and illegal dealings that Sheikh paints lends logic to the sectarian violence and the rise of terrorism in modern Pakistan. Rarely does one get such a revealing glimpse from inside the culture.
Sheikh delivers some powerful dramatic blows… vibrant and compelling
… stirring and thought-provoking.