Kamila Shamsie
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Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Naheed Shamsie

Shamsie reading at "The Global Soul: Imagining the Cosmopolitan" 2017
Shamsie reading at "The Global Soul: Imagining the Cosmopolitan" 2017
Born (1973-08-13) 13 August 1973 (age 47)
Karachi, Pakistan
Alma materHamilton College
University of Massachusetts Amherst
RelativesMuneeza Shamsie (mother)

Kamila Shamsie (born 13 August 1973)[2] is a Pakistani and British writer and novelist who is known for her award-winning novel Home Fire.[1]

Early life and education

Shamsie was born into a well-to-do family of intellectuals in Pakistan. Her mother is journalist and editor Muneeza Shamsie, her great-aunt was writer Attia Hosain and she is the granddaughter of memoirist Jahanara Habibullah.[3] She was brought up in Karachi where she attended Karachi Grammar School.[2] She has a BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College,[2] and an MFA from the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,[2] where she was influenced by the Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali.[4]


Shamsie wrote her first novel, In The City by the Sea, while still in college, and it was published in 1998 when she was 25.[5] It was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the UK,[6] and Shamsie received the Prime Minister's Award for Literature in Pakistan in 1999.[4] Her second novel, Salt and Saffron, followed in 2000, after which she was selected as one of Orange's 21 Writers of the 21st century.[4] Her third novel, Kartography (2002), received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys award in the UK.[6] Both Kartography and her next novel, Broken Verses (2005), have won the Patras Bokhari Award from the Academy of Letters in Pakistan.[4] Her fifth novel Burnt Shadows (2009) was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction[6] and won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction.[7]A God in Every Stone (2014) was shortlisted for the 2015 Walter Scott Prize[8] and the Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction.[9] Her seventh novel, Home Fire, was longlisted for the 2017 Booker Prize,[10] and in 2018 won the Women's Prize for Fiction.[11]

In 2009, Kamila Shamsie donated the short story "The Desert Torso" to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project - four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the Air collection.[12] She attended the 2011 Jaipur Literature Festival, where she spoke about her style of writing. She participated in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty-Six Books, with a piece based on a book of the King James Bible.[13] In 2013 she was included in the Granta list of 20 best young British writers.[14] She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.[6]

Personal life

Shamsie states that she considers herself Muslim.[15] She moved to London in 2007 and is now a dual national of the UK and Pakistan.[1]

In 2012, she joined the latest incarnation of the Authors XI cricket team, despite never having played the game before. She contributed a chapter, "The Women's XI", to the book The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon (2013), collectively written by members of the team to chronicle their first season together.[16]



  • In the City by the Sea (1998), ISBN 0-14-028181-9
  • Salt and Saffron (2000), ISBN 1-58234-261-X, OCLC 968548654
  • Kartography (2002), ISBN 0-15-602973-1
  • Broken Verses (2005), ISBN 0-15-603053-5
  • Offence: the Muslim case (2009), ISBN 1-906497-03-6, OCLC 232980963
  • Burnt Shadows (2009), ISBN 0-312-55187-8
  • A God in Every Stone (2014), ISBN 978-1-4088-4720-6, OCLC 939530755
  • Home Fire (2017), ISBN 978-1-4088-8677-9


  1. ^ a b c "Kamila Shamsie on applying for British Citizenship: 'I never felt safe'", The Guardian, 4 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014
  2. ^ a b c d "Kamila Shamsie: Following in her father's footsteps". South Asian Diaspora. 8 March 2013. Archived from the original on 3 March 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ Major, Nick (18 August 2018). "THE SRB INTERVIEW: Kamila Shamsie". Scottish Review of Books. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Agha, Saira (26 August 2016). "Pride of Pakistan:Kamila Shamsie". Daily Times. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Hanman, Natalie (11 April 2014). "Kamila Shamsie: 'Where is the American writer writing about America in Pakistan? There is a deep lack of reckoning'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d "Kamila Shamsie". Bloomsbury. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Kamila Shamsie | Burnt Shadows", Anisfiels-Wolf Book Awards.
  8. ^ "2015 Shortlist announced". Walter Scott Prize. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ Driscoll, Brogan (13 April 2015). "Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Shortlist Announced". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ Beer, Tom (14 August 2017). "What to read this week". Newsday. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Flood, Alison (6 June 2018), "Kamila Shamsie wins Women's prize for fiction for 'story of our times'", The Guardian.
  12. ^ "The Desert Torso" - A short story from the OX-Tales series/
  13. ^ Kamila Shamsie - "The Letter in response to Philemon" Archived 13 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Sixty-Six Books, Bush Theatre.
  14. ^ Best of Young British Novelists 4, Granta 123.
  15. ^ Nicol, Patricia (20 September 2017). "Author of the moment Kamila Shamsie on what it is to be a Muslim today". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ Authors Cricket Club (2013). The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4088-4045-0.
  17. ^ "Announcing the 2018 Women's Prize winner!", Women's Prize for Fiction
  18. ^ Flood, Allison (19 September 2019). "Kamila Shamsie's book award withdrawn over her part in Israel boycott". The Guardian.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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