Karachi, Pakistan (20th century) – Nadia has changed. She has been waking up in the middle of the night in fits of anxiety, avoiding her friends and family, and skipping her university classes. With the recent death of her father, Haji Rahmat, Nadia’s condition has further spiraled. There is no acceptable diagnosis for her behavior, and speculations abound: she may have a rare disease, she may be possessed by a jinn, or perhaps she is inclined to madness. Whatever the cause of this mysterious affliction, Zainab, Nadia’s mother, is at pains to keep it hidden from the community at large; she is worried Nadia will be labeled as mad, and she knows all too well the taboos that mental illness brings with it.
While the country tethers on political unrest, and Nadia seems to get worse by the day, the family searches desperately for the cause of, and the cure for their daughter’s mysterious malady.
House Number 12 Block Number 3, the home that has sheltered the Rahmat family for decades, narrates and recollects past events, trying to absolve itself of the burden it feels of being privy to the real reason for Nadia’s turmoil, but not being able to do anything about it.
Publisher: Hidden Shelf Publishing House
Number of pages: 210
Dimensions: 140 x 216 x 11mm
House Number 12 Block Number 3 is Sana Balagamwala's debut novel set in 20th century Karachi. Available exclusively at www.chapters.pk in Pakistan.
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