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The Place of Shining Light tells the story of three Pakistani men an ex-military man Adeel, an antiquities dealer Khalid, and an art collector Ghalib who are involved in the theft of a 5,000-year-old Buddhist statue from Afghanistan.
The novel explores the lives of the men as they each struggle with personal issues of faith, greed, and desire. Ghalib yearns for a political position with a cultural portfolio in the government; Khalid longs to create a private museum on his estate while Adeel hopes to leave his high-risk position as a covert operative for the military. For each of the men, the statue represents, if only symbolically, the fulfillment of these personal dreams. The longer the statue eludes their grasp, the more the men are forced to alter their expectations of the future.
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 novel about people and their quest for hope, love, and peace in a region that has been in a state of conflict both religious and political for decades.
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.