Shamsie on the Web



British Council of India Interview

University of Exeter Interview

Scottish Review of Books Interview 

Politics and Prose Talk

Kamila Shamsie is a Pakistani-British Novelist and writer, her mother is Muneeza Shamsie who is also a writer and literary journalist, one can see literature and writing runs in the family. She was born in 1973 in Pakistan and brought up in Karachi.

Shamsie’s most notable work is her last novel Home Fire which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018 and was longlisted for the Man Brooker award in 2017. The novel is about the clash between society, family and faith. The story plot tells the story of Isma alongside her siblings Aneeka and Parvaiz who joins Isis. The novel asks the question of what sacrifices we will make for Love?

Her previous work: Shamsie wrote her first novel In the City by the Sea while still in college in 1998 which was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (the award ended in 2010), her second novel was published in 2000 titled Salt and Saffron, her third novel Kartography was published in 2002, in 2005 she published her novel Broken Verses which won the Patras Bokhari Award from the Academy of Letters in Pakistan, Burnt Shadows and A God in Every Stone were published in 2009 and 2014.

In an interview, Shamsie told the Scottish Review of Books that her favorite writers she always returns to were Michael Ondaatje and Toni Morrison and that when she is working on a book she writes every day, in her books the reader can Karachi takes prominence as a set for her novels.

In her interview at the University of Exeter she talked about her experience while a student at the United States, to that she says “what was valuable is being able to listen to criticism, at the beginning I was not so good at it, and you get better at learning to recognize what is worthwhile in the criticism, and what is not, and what to do about it”. I find her words useful for every writer out there.

Featured Photo Credit: The Bocas Lit Fest

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