Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree – Islam Quintet I

Published by Verso, 1993

The first book in the five volume series of historical novels, The Islam Quintet

“Tariq Ali tells us the story of the aftermath of the fall of Granada by narrating a family sage of those who tried to survive after the collapse of their world. Particularly deft at evoking what life must have been like for those doomed inhabitants, besieged on all sides by intolerant Christendom. This is a novel that have something to say, and says it well.”—Guardian

“Tariq Ali captures the humanity and splendour of Muslim Spain … an enthralling story, unravelled with thrift and verve. Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree is quizzical as well as honest, informative as well as enjoyable, real history as well as fiction … a book to be relished and devoured.”—Independent

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From the archive

  • ‘Imperialism and democracy don’t mix’

    January 1, 2008

    ‘Imperialism and democracy don’t mix’, an interview with International Socialist Review, Jan-Feb 2008

    What role is the U.S. trying to play since 9/11 in Pakistan?

    Musharraf has succeeded in isolating himself from the population, including from sections of the elite, because he’s played his cards very badly. When he came in—like all these military rulers who run countries—he pledged a whole set of reforms. He was the first Pakistani military dictator who didn’t censor the press or ban political parties and trade unions. He said all that will carry on as before, which is unusual.

    In fact, in the first years of his rule the media flourished. It was much freer than it had been even under civilian governments. A whole number of television stations sprang up, which are still in operation. This is one of the ironies  …

  • The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity

    January 1, 2003

    Published by Verso, 2003

    In The Clash of Fundamentalisms, Tariq Ali puts the events of September 11 into sweeping historical perspective. As we have come to expect from him, he is lucid, eloquent, literary, and painfully honest, as he dissects both Islamic and Western fundamentalism.

    The aerial attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, a global spectacle of unprecedented dimensions, generated an enormous volume of commentary. The inviolability of the American mainland, breached for the first time since 1812, led to extravagant proclamations by the pundits. It was a new world-historical turning point. The 21st century, once greeted triumphally as marking the dawn of a worldwide neoliberal civilization, suddenly became menaced. The choice presented from the White House and its supporters was to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism or be damned.

    Tariq Ali challenges these assumptions, arguing instead that  …