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Sorayya Khan  

In the Margalla Hills, Islamabad, Pakistan, 1990





FIVE QUEEN'S ROAD is a novel that weaves together family saga, memoir, and national history. The house, Five Queen's Road, initially built by an Englishman in Lahore, Pakistan, is shared between a Hindu landlord, a Muslim tenant and his family, and eventually, a foreign daughter-in-law who joins them. Irene, a Dutch woman scarred by war-stricken Maastricht and Amsterdam, becomes part of the family and all slowly discover that they share more than imagined. The novel is about memory and family and surviving tragedies like the 1947 Partition of the Indian Subcontinent and World War II in Europe.

NOOR is a powerful and poignant story of memory, family, tragedy, and forgiveness. Set in modern-day Islamabad, Pakistan, the book depicts an extraordinary child who enables her mother, Sajida, and her grandfather, Ali, to confront the pasts they have chosen to suppress. Through Noor’s artwork, her family members are transported through their haunted memories of the 1970 cyclone that claimed the lives of a million people and the violent atrocities of the 1971 conflict between East and West Pakistan that eventually created the independent nation of Bangladesh. As Noor’s drawings bring to life sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of the past, Noor’s family is forced to admit to the betrayals and disillusionments that they thought had been buried with time. Moving, heartbreaking, and unsettling by turns, NOOR is a novel about the horrors of war, the power of forgiveness, and, most important, the strength of the human spirit.

Recent Other Writing

The Sound of Conversation is an essay Sorayya wrote that could just as well be called "Why I Write." It explores her motivation and process, and is included in a set of essays that reveals how authors’ biographies result in their professional subject matter. The collection, Autobiographical International Relations: I, IR, is edited by Naeem Inayatullah and published by Routledge in 2011.



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