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JASMINE DAYS

BENYAMIN (Juggernaut)

Translated from the Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib

The story of Radio Jockey Sameera whose life changes when revolution strikes

Young Radio Jockey Sameera Parvin from Pakistan immigrates to an unnamed city in the Middle East where she tells the story of the Arab Spring of 2011 in Benyamin's new novel. Sameera thrives in her job and is the darling of her family, but her happy world starts to fall apart when revolution occurs in the country. As the people's agitation gathers strength, she is forced to choose between family and friends, loyalty and love, life and death.

Jasmine Days was first published in Malayalam in 2014 as Mullappoo Niramulla Pakalukal and then translated into English by Shahnaz Habib.

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Audio Reading

Narrated by Sukhesh Arora

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BENYAMIN

Benyamin was born 1971 in Nhettur, Kerala. He moved to Bahrain in 1992. Until the age of twenty-one, he knew nothing of literature: "Cricket was my world, better living standards were my aim." When he reached The Gulf, he felt a loneliness that triggered reading and eventually led to writing: "I began with letters to friends. They accepted my words." Today he is an author of over twenty books. Aadujeevitham or Goat Days is his most successful novel and has won him the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award. He returned from the Middle East to his native state of Kerala in 2013, two years after the Arab revolution ended. A former electrical engineer and now a full-time writer, he lives alone and cooks for himself daily: "I feel, and my friends certify, that I have a talent in it too."

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Shahnaz Habib

Shahnaz Habib teaches writing at The New School and Bay Path University and consults for the United Nations. Born and raised in Kerala, she now lives in New York. When she had just started working on Jasmine Days in Kerala, it attracted much attention. "What is it like to translate Benyamin?" she was often asked. "As a first-time translator, I found this auspicious and intimidating in equal measure," was her response.

THE 2018 LONGLIST