Why I Chose Not To Read Christina Lamb’s Book on Malala Yousafzai

Marie Arana of The Washington Post wrote,

Co-written with Christina Lamb, a veteran British journalist who has an evident passion for Pakistan and can render its complicated history with pristine clarity, this is a book that should be read not only for its vivid drama but for its urgent message about the untapped power of girls.

The first thing that came to mind when this book was launched? “Wow, that was fast.”

Really fast.

Malala was shot by the Taliban on 9th October 2012.

The book came out on 8th October 2013.

Perfect timing. One year anniversary of a world-changing event.

Writing, finding and quoting sources, verying sources, manuscripts, fact-checking, agents, editing, publishing matters – etc. in no particular order. All under 12 months, not counting the time the subject matter needed to recover from her trauma and injuries.

I had to assume that the book was written in a rush. How deep was it, how strong was the narrative, did it cover multiple bases, sources, they all came to play in my park mind.

I chose not to give it the benefit of the doubt. Even if Christina Lamb is highly accomplished. Plus, I read early reviews. None of them impressed me. I recall a few stating that it wasn’t quite Malala’s voice, just Christina’s. But yes, I could be wrong. The reviews could be wrong, too, right?

So I waited. True enough, another book came out, this time, a children’s version by Patricia McCormick (“… Her books rely heavily on research and interviews), albeit in the same year. But the reviews were impressive.

And so I read it.

And it was a really damn good read. Even for adults. Five stars. For time, and effort.

p.s. I stumbled upon this while writing my post. Not really looking for any validation here, just that she’s read both versions so her points are definitely worthwhile.

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