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Broken Threads: My Family from Empire to Independence by Mishal Husain

Broken Threads: My Family from Empire to Independence by Mishal Husain

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'Unforgettable' SATHNAM SANGHERA

'Spell-binding' PETER FRANKOPAN


An extraordinary family memoir from acclaimed newsreader and journalist, Mishal Husain, uncovering the story of her grandparents' lives amidst empire, political upheaval and partition. ?‘I witnessed the dwindling glow of the British Empire. I saw small men entrusted with great jobs, playing with the destiny of millions’ ?The lives of Mishal Husain’s grandparents changed forever in 1947, as the new nation states of India and Pakistan were born.

For years she had a partial story, a patchwork of memories and anecdotes: hurried departures, lucky escapes from violence and homes never seen again. Decades later, the fragment of an old sari sent Mishal on a journey through time, using letters, diaries, memoirs and audio tapes to trace four lives shaped by the Raj, a world war, independence and partition. Mumtaz rejects the marriage arranged for him as he forges a life with Mary, a devout Catholic from an Anglo-Indian family, while Tahirah and Shahid watch the politics of pre-partition Delhi unfold at close quarters.

As freedom comes, bonds fray and communities are divided, leaving two couples to forge new identities, while never forgetting the shared heritage of the past.

‘Beautifully written, emotional and deeply personal, yet universal … One can't help but be moved by this story of upheaval and transformation’ SADIQ KHAN

‘As the daughter of a partition family myself, I was so moved by this stirring and deeply moving account that is at once a love story as well as a chronicle of one of the most cataclysmic events in South Asia. A book of loss and longing’ BARKHA DUTT

‘If you love Mishal’s broadcasting, you’ll be utterly enchanted by this meticulously researched story’ JON SOPEL


Publication: 6 Jun 2024, Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780008531683

Extent: 336 pages

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