Black Cat
Black Cat
Black Cat

Red Birds

by Mohammed Hanif

From the prize-winning author hailed as “Pakistan’s brightest voice” (Guardian), comes a powerful and darkly satirical novel about the the harsh, absurd hypocrisies of American intervention in the Muslim world

  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Page Count 304
  • Publication Date May 14, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4728-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Publication Date May 14, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4729-5
  • US List Price $0.00

About the Book

An American pilot crash lands in the desert and finds himself on the outskirts of the very camp he was supposed to bomb. After days spent wandering and hallucinating from dehydration, Major Ellie is rescued by one of the camp’s residents, a teenager named Momo, whose entrepreneurial money-making schemes are failing as his family is falling apart: His older brother, Ali, left for his first day of work at an American base and never returned; his parents are at each other’s throats; his dog, Mutt, is having a very bad day; and an earthy-crunchy aid worker has shown up wanting to research him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind. Amidst the madness, Momo sets out to search for his brother Ali, hoping his new Western acquaintances might be able to help find him. But as the truth of Ali’s whereabouts begin to unfold, the effects of American “aid” on this war-torn country are revealed to be increasingly pernicious.

Written with his trademark wit and keen eye for absurdity, and revealing critical truths about the state of the world today, Red Birds shows master storyteller Mohammed Hanif at the height of his powers.

Tags Satire

Praise for Red Birds

“Hanif, Booker-longlisted for A Case of Exploding Mangoes, dives headfirst into an unnamed desert in the present day and the disparate characters stuck in it… Hanif’s portrait of the surrealism and commonplaceness of America’s wars in Muslim countries is nearly impossible to put down. The camp in particular crackles with humanity, bizarreness, and banality… The novel manages to remain delightful and unpredictable even in its darkest moments, highlighting the hypocrisies and constant confusions of American intervention abroad.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Red Birds is a fresh marvel, describing with cool wit and steely yet tender intelligence the interlinked fates of antagonists in a forgotten war-scape – and the complicity of our own sheltered lives in remote conflicts.” Pankaj Mishra

Praise for Mohammed Hanif

“Mohammed Hanif is a brave, gifted writer.” —Mohsin Hamid, author of Exit West

“Witty, elegant, and deliciously anarchic. Hanif has a lovely eye and an even better ear.” —John le Carré, on Case of the Exploding Mangoes

“An insanely brilliant, satirical first novel . . . Belongs in a tradition that includes Catch-22, but it also calls to mind the biting comedy of Philip Roth.” —The Washington Post, on Case of the Exploding Mangoes

“A comedy for those who think, a tragedy for those who feel… Hanif does Karachi better than Rushdie does Bombay… Relentlessly readable, compulsively so as it surges towards it apocalyp-tic conclusion” The Guardian, on Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

Author Tour Dates



New York, NY

In conversation with Prof. Manan Ahmed
536 West 112th St.

7:00 PM


New York, NY

Desi Lit Rising with HM Naqvi
45 Bleeker Street

2:30 PM


New York, NY

The Art of Violence with Rodrigo Rey & Tommy Orange
41 Cooper Square

2:30 PM


Pasadena, CA

Seeing Beyond Satire and Stereotypes with Neel Patel
Presented in partnership with the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the Pakistani Arts Council, and the South Asian Network
46 North Los Robles Avenue

7:00 PM