When she was 14, Fatima Bhutto huddled in the corner of a closet shielding her baby brother while shots rang out in the streets outside her home. Those shots killed her father and continued the legacy of blood that marks her family and her country. Now, the Afghan-born Pakistani poet and writer speaks about a life lived in the shadow of political power and death.
Bhutto, the granddaughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and niece of Benazir Bhutto, studied at Columbia University and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. For the Wheeler Centre, Bhutto talks with SBS journalist Anton Enus about her remarkable memoir, Songs of Blood and Sword, which is at once the story of a family, a search for answers about the death of her father and a portrait of an accomplished young woman who must decide her role in Pakistan’s future.
Anton Enus, an award winning broadcast journalist with more than 25 years' of experience, has been presenting SBS World News bulletins since 1999. His career spans television, radio and print coverage of international news and current affairs in both South Africa and Australia.
In his spare time he's run more than 40 marathons and also plays tennis and squash. His favourite authors are Vikram Seth, JM Coetzee and Sebastian Faulks.
'Millions of women suffer but they also struggle, they resist and fight. Pakistan is a harsh country, an unfair country, but it also produces women with extraordinary spirit.'
Fatima Bhutto was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and grew up in Syria and Pakistan. She is the author of six books of fiction and non-fiction. Her debut novel, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, was longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction. Songs of Blood and Sword, the memoir she wrote about the life and assassination of her father, Murtaza Bhutto, was published to great acclaim. Her most recent book is New Kings of The World, a lively look at the forces that are challenging America’s cultural dominance of the world.