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I, Migrant is a memoir by Pakistani journalist and comedian, Sami Shah, who, in the wake of bomb attacks and death threats, leaves Karachi to make a new life in rural Australia. Opening with Shah’s near death experience following a threatened collision with a kangaroo, the book takes us back to Karachi where we follow Shah, the journalist, as he grabbles with the news not of Benazir Bhutto’s triumphant return to Pakistan but instead of her assassination. From there, Shah segues into a commentary on the difficulties inherent in changing careers to become a comedian while living in a war zone.
In spite of the often-traumatic events he recounts, Shah imbues I, Migrant with an intelligent humour that entertains the reader without undermining the gravity of the situations he describes. Shah’s touch is light and warm. The comedian’s voice and style of observation underpins the narrative and comes bursting through at crucial moments as he relates the story leading to his immigration with generosity, humility and wit.