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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Write Your World

By Nadia Shah, Yumna Iqbal and Michelle Ye


This article discusses authors and book recommendations that relate to the backgrounds of the team who celebrates the BIPOC community.




Sabaa Tahir


Sabaa Tahir is Pakistani-American author, most notable for her YA Fantasy series, An Ember in the Ashes, inspired by Ancient Rome. Though born in London, Tahir grew up in California at her family’s motel and spent much of her childhood reading, which led to her becoming a newspaper editor and then an author, publishing her first novel in 2015.


An Ember in the Ashes has been translated into over thirty-five languages and is a New York Times bestseller. The novel has been nominated for various accolades and won the People’s Choice Award for Favourite Fantasy in 2016.


Mohsin Hamid


Mohsin Hamid is a British-Pakistani novelist; he has published five novels since 2000. Raised between the US and Pakistan, Hamid attended both Princeton University and Harvard Law School. At Princeton, he studied under renowned authors such as Toni Morrison and Joyce Carol Oates.


His first novel, Moth Smoke, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. It has a contemporary structure, utilising multiple narratives and essays on what could be seen as quite menial topics, for example, how air-conditioning plays into the protagonists’ lives. His second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was deemed by the Guardian as one of the best books of the decade, and has been turned into a film, starring Riz Ahmed. It tells the story of a Pakistani man named Changez as he recounts his life in America to a stranger in a café. Hamid uses a dramatic monologue; Changez is the sole speaker, and the American listener is never actually heard from.


Mohsin Hamid has explored many topics in his works, writing essays on politics, literature and art, with articles appearing in Time, the Guardian and more. However, his novels have been criticised in the past for having biased or one-dimensional depictions of Muslim characters.


Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie is a distinguished British-Pakistani author known for her evocative storytelling and exploration of themes such as identity, history and politics. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1973, Shamsie has garnered acclaim for her intricate narratives that reflect her dual heritage and the complexities of the diasporic experience.

Shamsie's novels frequently address the nuances of cultural identity and the influence of historical and political contexts on individual lives. Her writing is marked by a deep understanding of the intersection between the personal and the political, presenting nuanced portrayals of characters who grapple with issues of belonging and displacement. This thematic focus is evident in works such as Kartography and Burnt Shadows, where she intertwines stories of love, loss and identity against the backdrop of significant historical events.

One of Shamsie's most celebrated novels, Home Fire, comes highly recommended for its timely and thought-provoking examination of contemporary issues. The novel reimagines Sophocles’ Antigone in a modern setting, following the lives of a British Muslim family torn apart by political and personal conflicts. Shamsie explores themes of loyalty and sacrifice, and the tension between state and familial duty. The narrative is both gripping and insightful, offering readers a profound perspective on the challenges faced by individuals navigating their heritage and the demands of assimilation in Western society.

Home Fire is a compelling read, not only for its engaging plot, but also for its powerful commentary on identity and the often-fraught relationship between the individual and the state. Shamsie's ability to humanise complex political issues through her richly developed characters makes this novel an essential read for anyone interested in contemporary fiction that addresses today's most pressing social debates.


Ann Liang 


New York Times bestseller, Ann Liang, was born in China and now lives in Melbourne. Since the release of her debut novel If You Could See the Sun in 2022, Liang has published a book a year with the release of This Time It’s Real in 2023 and I Hope This Doesn’t Find You in 2024. Each of her YA novels intricately illustrates the struggle of growing up while trying to accommodate cultural differences. Now branching out into fantasy and historical fiction, Liang’s upcoming novel A Song to Drown Rivers is inspired by the legend of Xi Shi, one of the Four Beauties of Ancient China. This thrilling tale of espionage and deception will be released on 1 October 2024 and is expected to be followed by two more YA novels in 2025 and 2026.  


Yiyun Li


Yiyun Li is a widely celebrated Chinese author based in America. She has published numerous novels and short stories, which have earned her multiple awards. Her debut collection of short stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, published in 2005, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Frank O’Connor Award. Her following novel, The Vagrants, published in 2009, was well received and won the California Book Award. Since then, Li has gone on to publish essays in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The Gettysburg Review. Li’s most recent publication, Wednesday’s Child: Stories, is a collection that tackles the forces of distance, ageing and loss. The pressure of absence in the relationships of each story suffuses every ordinary act with meaning and crystallises the strength of human connection. 



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