Pakistan has immense talent. Our job is to empower that talent. Pakistani writers have truly built their own world over recent years, producing incomparable literary masterpieces. We rounded up our favourite contemporary authors for you to enjoy - happy reading!
Karachi-born fiction writer Kamila Shamsie is renowned across the world for her literary works. Since her debut novel ‘In the City by the Sea’ which was published in 1998, she has written four other historic fictions. Her most recent novel, ‘Burnt Shadows’, was published in 2009, and like her other major works, is also a recipient of literary awards. Shamsie’s work speaks for her determination to find truth in the history of Pakistan and present it through her writing. ‘Salt and Saffron’ tells a story written in the background of separation of East Pakistan, while Kartography is a tale based in the decade of Independence of Pakistan. Shamsie is one of the few Pakistani writers that are a gateway for readers to explore Pakistan’s history and how it has impacted our literature and society.
Mohsin Hamid, from Lahore, is one of Pakistan's most celebrated authors. His books have bagged some of the most prestigious literary prizes across the world. The iconic story, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, was also turned into a Hollywood movie, starring British-Pakistani Riz Ahmed as protagonist Changez. His other works include 'Exit West' and 'Moth Smoke;. 'Moth Smoke’ was also turned to a mini television series and an Italian operetta. Hamid’s boundless imagination and relatable characters make his work a point of connection for Pakistan's youth, particularly the diaspora.
Muhammad Hanif, satirical writer from Pakistan, has unimaginable skill! He has served as journalist for The Washington Post, Newsline and has also worked for BBC Radio. His debut novel, ‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes’ is a fiction based around the life and death of Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq. His character are often very close reflections of the Pakistani society, and his satire makes it easier for him to communicate didactic messages to the audiences, particularly inside Pakistan. Hanif’s books have bagged several international prizes and his work has been translated into 22 different languages.
Omar Shahid Hamid:
Omer Shahid Hamid's thrillers have given him huge fame. Working as a full-time police officer in Karachi, Omar has an instinct for criminal psychology and therefore, while reading his work like ‘The Spinner's Tale’ and ‘The Prisoner’ - one can’t help but notice the details he manifests into his character almost effortlessly. His book ‘The Spinner’s tale’ is a story of Karachi based, well educated, cricket enthusiast - nicknamed Ausie, who goes through unimaginable transformations. Anyone interested in sci-fi should pick up an Omar Hamid book for the thrill of their life!
Born in Kabul, raised in Syria, Fatima Bhutto's contributions to the literary world have not gone unnoticed. Her recent fictional novel ‘The Runaways’ asked crucial questions regarding modern Muslim identity and its various nuances. She also frequently commentates on political events in Pakistan, and her work has been recognised at some of the world's most prestigious forums. While 'The Runaways' is an absolute pleasure, her most famous book has to 'Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter's Memoir'.