In the Light of What We Know: A Novel of Its Time
Abstract: It is not easy to define the boundary between knowing and knowledge. Being informed and being knowledgeable can be two different intellectual states. IKnowing history can lead to a partial understanding of the present until one can interpret the present through history. Knowledge is the conclusion that one reaches after knowing and interpreting. For a novelist, his or her plot should inform the historical context and provide the readers with the scope to interpret the present through the facts of the past. A successful novel triggers constant interpretations as well as makes the readers doubt their interpretations. Also, a successful novel knows the necessity of its time. Keeping all these aspects in mind, it seems appropriate to coin Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know as a novel of its time. However, it is problematic to say that the novel offers knowledge or the scope of interpretation for readers. A novel needs to manifest the triggering events in its plot that fetches diverse interpretations from different cultures and countries. Rahman’s novel seems to refer to a lot of intellectual works and historical facts, but it is not clear how the readers will interpret the events by connecting the references with the events of the fiction.
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Published in 2015