Publisher description for In the valley of mist : Kashmir : one family in a changing world / by Justine Hardy.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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A personal, moving, and vibrant picture of one of the most beautiful and troubled places in the world -- described through the experiences of one family, whose fortunes have changed dramatically with those of the region.

" If there is a paradise on earth, it is definitely here and only here," said the early seventeenthcentury Mughal Emperor Jehangir when describing the Kashmir Valley. This is a place that has always inspired poetry and war: the Kashmir Valley has been fought over for centuries. Tensions there exploded yet again in 1989, and since then it has been embedded in constant conflict -- every facet of militant and fundamentalist extremism having already exhibited its horrible results long before September 11, 2001.

In the midst of this breathtaking beauty and heartbreaking conflict enters the novelist, journalist, filmmaker, and aid worker Justine Hardy. Having lived and worked in Kashmir for two decades, she draws the reader beyond the headlines into the world of In the Valley of Mist. A family portrait, the book describes a unique and gentle culture that has been shattered by the impact of insurgency, repression, and Islamic extremism in a place once famous for the warmth between its Hindu and Muslim residents.

In the Valley of Mist is not a story of politics and power, but of the Dar family, a warm and welcoming group of houseboat owners and carpet sellers, women and men, who have inhabited the Kashmir Valley for generations. As Justine Hardy relates them, the Dars' experiences before the war, through the conflict, and on to the life-altering earthquake that shattered the region in 2005 give us unique insight into the culture and mind-set of the area. In the Valley of Mist captures a natural landscape -- its side-byside lakes dotted with houseboats, gardens, mosques, markets, and chai-khana stalls -- while taking the reader along for experiences as diverse as wedding parties and militant training camps. As Hardy describes burning cities and deserted neighborhoods, she also longingly reflects on a past time of entwined festivals and traditions, when Pandits (Kashmiri Hindus), Muslims, and Sikhs coexisted peacefully.

What emerges is a profound portrait of a textured cultural landscape, shaped by idealistic divides that are both germane and deeply resonant as the world faces the ongoing state of conflict between East and West. Revealing, provocative, and warm, In the Valley of Mist paints Kashmir as the template for the changing face of Islam.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Dar, Mohammad.
Dar, Mohammad -- Family.
Muslims -- India -- Jammu and Kashmir -- Biography.
Jammu and Kashmir (India) -- Biography.
Social change -- India -- Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir (India) -- Social conditions.
Ethnic conflict -- India -- Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir (India) -- Ethnic relations.
Jammu and Kashmir (India) -- Politics and government.
Hardy, Justine.