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Best-selling Pakstani novel Karachi, You’re Killing Me! by local journalist Saba Imtiaz has been acquired for a Bollywood adaptation by Mumbai-based banner Abundantia Entertainment.
On her website, Imtiaz describes her debut novel as Bridget Jones’ Diary meets Diary of a Social Butterfly, the best-selling 2008 satirical novel revolving around a high-flying socialite from Lahore penned by Pakistani author Moni Mohsin.
Published last year by Random House India, Karachi, You’re Killing Me! chronicles the life of Ayesha Khan, a twentysomething, progressive-thinking journalist who drinks and smokes, putting her modern attitude in contrast to Karachi’s more orthodox elements.
Imtiaz is a Karachi-based freelance journalist who reports on religious movements, culture and politics in Pakistan. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian and The Christian Science Monitor.
“I had thought writing about a protagonist who seemed quite similar to me would be really easy,” Imtiaz explained in a blog post describing how her own experiences as a reporter inspired Karachi, You’re Killing Me! “Some of the characters… came from a mix of people I’d known over the years. There were mannerisms from one, a stock of one-liners from another, the self-confidence of a third. I couldn’t copy and paste from my own life, the characters had taken a life of their own.”
“I have full faith that the book will translate into a film that will resonate with today’s audiences, especially women, as they will see lots of slices of their lives in it,” Abundantia founder Vikram Malhotra, the former head of Viacom18 India’s film unit, said in a statement.
A report in the Mumbai Mirror quoted sources stating that the book’s Hindi film adaptation would be set in India’s capital with the tentative title Delhi, You’re Killing Me.
Abundantia recently released action caper Baby starring Akshay Kumar, who is also headlining the banner’s in-production drama Airlift.
Perhaps the most high-profile international adaptation of a Pakistani book was Mira Nair‘s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The 2012 political thriller was based on the 2007 book of the same name by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. Starring Riz Ahmed and Kate Hudson, the film revolved around a New York-based Pakistani man whose life changes following the 9/11 attacks.
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