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Mon, 10/04/2010 - 8:00am to 9:00am
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Fatima Bhutto on her life and the politics of Pakistan

Hosts Celeste Carey and Cecil Prescod interview author, journalist and poet Fatima Bhutto about her new memoir, "Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir," just out from Nation Books.

Fatima Bhutto is an Afghan-born Pakistani poet and writer. She studied at Columbia University, and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Her work has appeared in The Daily Beast, New Statesman, and other publications. She currently lives in Karachi.

Ms Bhutto is a member of the most famous family in Pakistan. At three years old she witnessed the aftermath of her uncle's death by poisoning. When she was fourteen she hid her brother while her father was gunned down in the street. And in 2007 her aunt Benazir, whom she had publicaly accused of ordering her faher's murder, was assassinated in Rawalpindi.

Her memoir tells the story of a family of rich feudal landlords—the proud descendants of a warrior caste—who became power brokers in the newly created state of Pakistan. It is an epic tale full of the romance and legend of feudal life, the glamor and license of the international political elite and ultimately, the tragedy of four generations of a family defined by a political idealism that would destroy them.

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<p>Fatima Bhutto is also a poet; her book <em>Whispers in the Desert, </em>written in 1998, has pieces that seem prophetic of the turmoil to come. I've posted one such poem, and my written homage, intended as a positive meditation on and invocation for the future of Pakistan. <em>--Celeste Carey</em></p>
<div align="center"><b><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&nbsp;Bullets</span></b></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Bullets riddle the air</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Hate stalks</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">The streets</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">But sitting up high</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">They laugh</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Nothing is wrong as long as I have power</span></div>
<div align="center">&nbsp;</div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Danger lurks around corners</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Violence flows as freely as blood in the streets</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Suddenly</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Death is a part of everyday life</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">But those at top</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Look down at the people and smile</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Nothing is wrong</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Nothing will go wrong as long as I have power</span></div>
<div align="center">&nbsp;</div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">The city erupts, dissolves</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">The city collapses</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">But, at the top</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">They rejoice</span></div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">They are in power</span></div>
<div align="center">&nbsp;</div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">End 1995&nbsp; <em>Fatima Bhutto</em><br>
</span></div>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<div align="center"><strong>Ballots</strong></div>
<div align="center">&nbsp;Truth pierces the air</div>
<div align="center">Hope treads</div>
<div align="center">The streets</div>
<div align="center">Lifted up high</div>
<div align="center">People pray</div>
<div align="center">All wrong will be righted.</div>
<div align="center">&nbsp;</div>
<div align="center">Danger still waits around corners</div>
<div align="center">Violence still flows red and bold</div>
<div align="center">Sudden death stands beside life</div>
<div align="center">As red-handed leaders</div>
<div align="center">Smirk at the people</div>
<div align="center">Calm in ill-received power</div>
<div align="center">&nbsp;</div>
<div align="center">But the city can erupt in a spasm</div>
<div align="center">of birth, arise from the bottom</div>
<div align="center">The top collapses to the molten core</div>
<div align="center">While the people rejoice</div>
<div align="center">They are in power.</div>
<div align="center"><span style="font-size: smaller;"><br>
</span></div>
<div align="center"><em><span style="font-size: small;">October 2010, Celeste Carey</span></em></div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p>Thanks for bringing this compelling story to the airwaves. This is a story people would not hear were it not for KBOO. A true story that will help listeners understand the complexity of politics from a world far away, rather than the soundbites we hear on the news. Thank you.</p>

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