John Keay

A People Apart

Curfewed Night: A Frontline Memoir of Life, Love and War in Kashmir


HarperPress 223pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

The people of Kashmir have generally suffered from a bad press. For the British sahibs who once flocked to the Himalayan valley to picnic beneath its glaciers, haul trout from its streams and slosh custard on the steamed puddings served aboard their rented houseboats, it was a mystery how Providence could have awarded such a paradise to so dismal a people. Though capable craftsmen, credible cooks and outrageous salesmen, Kashmiris were reckoned to be obsequious, quarrelsome, deceitful and excessively venal. They also seemed quite unembarrassed by their reputation for spinelessness. Among the subject peoples of the British Raj no race was rated less martial. A Kashmiri with a gun, if not a feeble joke, was an unforgivable liability. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,