"I believe," Alys said to Darsee, "a book and an author can belong to more than one country or culture. English came with the colonizers, but its literature is part of our heritage too, as is pre-partition writing."
Darsee said, "My favorite parition novel is Attia Hosain's Sunlight on a Broken Column. Have you read it, Alys?
Alys shook her head.
"That book made me believe I could have a Pakistani identity inclusive of an English-speaking tongue. We've been forced to seek ourselves in the literature of others for too long."
Alys nodded, adding, "But reading widely can lead to an appreciation of the universalities across cultures."
"Sure," Darsee said. "But it shouldn't just be one-sided appreciation."
"I know what you mean," Alys said. "Ginger ale and apple pie have become second nature to us here, while our culture is viewed as exotic."
"Precisely," Darsee said. "At the wedding, you talked of a Pakistani Jane Austen. But will we ever hear the English or Americans talk of an equivalent?"
"Let's hope so," Alys said.