The Post Interviews Fatima Bhutto

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Fatima Bhutto is a renowned Pakistani Author. She published her first book at 15. She is known to criticise Imran Khan openly. In a nation where Imran Khan campaigned to breakout out of a tradition of bailouts. His government applied for an IMF bailout (The 22nd IMF Bailout), two months into his new office. In a country where 30% of women are employed, and 20 million children are deprived of education; Fatima is a breath of fresh air publicly calling out Pakistani Politicians on their shortcomings.

Here is the full interview with the inspirational Fatima Bhutto:

Tell us something unusual about yourself?
I’m a good mimic

What was your first Job

Writer. My first job was a weekly columnist for The News and Jang newspapers in Pakistan. 

Favourite Book of 2018?

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner in fiction and The Way to the Spring by Ben Ehrenreich in non-fiction.

Worst advice you have ever received?

People give you bad advice when they are looking after their own interests and not being compassionate about your predicament. I have a good radar for those sorts of people so I don’t get offered a lot of bad advice. 

Advice for aspiring writers who don’t have access to publishing houses on getting their work published?

Be patient, never hurry. Writing is a work that requires constant polishing, questioning and refining. Take as long as you need because when you do find a publisher, they will only read your manuscript once. Also, read widely and read deeply but when you’re working on something, try and read in a targeted manner. You’re always learning as a writer and if you think you know everything there is to know, you’re in big trouble. 

What are your thoughts on Brexit?

Brexit isn’t unique to England. We see a lot of the same anti-immigrant, anti-minority, hateful rhetoric that fuelled Brexit across the world. Look at leaders who stoke a hatred of the press while simultaneously being adept propagandists and tolerating zero criticism of themselves: can you even tell that’s still about Brexit? It feels pretty widespread to me. 

What do you think the world needs to overcome intolerance and misogyny?

An ability to encounter and listen to other people’s pain for the same length of time that you think about your own. 

Do you listen to podcasts, if yes what’s your favourite?

Yes, I love podcasts. I recently discovered The East is a Podcast which has fascinating shows about Edward Said, Iran, Malcom X, Baathism, it’s a trip. The London Review Bookshop also has good conversations with writers 

Would you call your self a feminist? What’s your view on women supporting other women and those who don’t?

Yes of course, but I think the word ‘feminist’ has become so warped and corroded. It doesn’t include solidarity and sisterhood amongst women, which is vital, but has become a sort of top down, temple to the self, reduced to one’s individual sense of self rather than a force uniting a community of women. What I really can’t stand is white feminism which thinks it invented empowerment but focuses solely on wealth and power and the accumulation of both, a feminism only for the 1%. Lifestyle feminists are also pretty grating. 

Fatima’s Book The Runaways is available to purchase on Amazon India.

Sources: The Economist

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