Usman is visiting post-war London from Pakistan when he meets a young aspiring artist called Lydia who has, like himself, come out of an unhappy marriage. Just as the lonely strangers' friendship begins to blossom into something deeper Usman has to return to Karachi, leaving Lydia behind. Two years later, Lydia impulsively abandons her life in London and boards a ship to Karachi, where the two are married. But as the years flit by Usman feels distanced from his life and realises that he hasn't noticed the buds of the gulmohar tree unfurl. A beautiful account of a marriage that is in turns wry and unashamedly romantic.
Aamer Hussein was born in Karachi in 1955 and moved to London in his teens. He is the author of Mirror to the Sun, This Other Salt, Turquoise and Insomnia, and the editor of Kahani. He reviews regularly for The Independent, lectures at the University of Southampton and the Institute of English Studies (University of London) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
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