Boys Will Be Boys
A Daughter's Elegy
Taking its title from that jokingly chosen by her father for his unwritten autobiography, Boys Will Be Boys dips in and out of Suleri Goodyear's upbringing in Pakistan and her life in the United States, moving between public and private history and addressing questions of loss and cultural displacement through a resolutely comic lens. In this rich portrait, Pip emerges as a prodigious figure: an ardent agitator against British rule in the 1930s and 1940s, a founder of the Times of Karachi and the Evening Times, on-and-off editor of the Pakistan Times, for a brief time director of the Pakistan military intelligence service, and a frequently jailed antagonist of successive Pakistani leaders. To the author, though, he was also "preposterous . . . counting himself king of infinite space," a man who imposed outrageously on his children. As Suleri Goodyear chronicles, Pip demanded their loyalty yet banished them easily from his favor; contrary and absurdly unfair, he read their diaries, interfered in their relationships, and believed in a father's inalienable right to oppress his children.
Suleri Goodyear invites the reader into an intimacy shaped equally by history and intensely personal detail, creating an elegant elegy for a man of force and contradiction. And perhaps Pip was not so preposterous after all: "On Judgment Day," he told his daughter, "I will say to God, 'Be merciful, for I have already been judged by my child.'"
Love demands patience
Ask of Kohakan's heart the reality of existence!
There is a wilderness within the wilderness
My golden town, Kasur!
Give birth to your own world, if you are among the living!
Why ask about Mir's religion and beliefs? He has long since drawn a line on his forehead, sat in a temple, and renounced Islam
There are many brothers here, but few friends
You are with me, as it were, when no other can be there
The pious keep going to report to the authorities: That Akbar actually names God, in this very age!
Don't trouble me, you perfumed wind, take to your road! You have frivolity on your mind while I sit here in despair
We are the lover, they the impatiently disdaining: Dear God! What kind of business is this, anyway?
Long live, you purest land!
The point of the tongue