Uzma Aslam Khan’s The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali at T2F

Novelist Uzma Aslam Khan will present her newest book, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, a work of historical fiction that took her over twenty-six years to complete. Set in the British penal colony of the Andaman Islands (“Kala Pani”) during the freedom movement and the Second World War, when the islands were occupied by the Japanese, Nomi Ali is not merely about lives that are accidentally overlooked or forgotten. It is about lives that are deliberately deleted from historical “truth”—lives from present-day Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar (then Burma), as well as indigenous islanders, all caught in the crossfires of a double occupation of pre-Partition India. They are lives that historically privileged perspectives have deemed unworthy of remembrance, but that, through this fictional retelling, have powers of their own: of empathy and fury, imagination and love.

Khan will speak on her defiance of traditionally accepted histories, her research, and ultimately, her rejection of the “facts” she meticulously collected, in favor of a fiction that feels true. She will also speak on the book’s resonance with today, in the context of mass deportations, hate politics, and heightened fear of the “other.”

The event includes a reading, Q & A, and book signing. All proceeds benefit T2F.

About the Author:
Uzma Aslam Khan is an award-winning author of five novels translated worldwide to critical acclaim in France, Italy, Brazil, Sweden, Catalan, Romania, Turkey, Egypt, and several other countries. These novels include Trespassing, nominated for a 2003 Commonwealth Prize; The Geometry of God, a Kirkus Review’s Best Book of 2009; Thinner Than Skin, long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize and DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and winner of the French Embassy Prize for Best Fiction at the Karachi Literature Festival 2014. Her most recent novel, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! Best Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2019.

Khan’s short fiction has also won numerous prizes, and appeared in Granta, The Massachusetts Review, Nimrod International Journal, and is forthcoming in Calyx and Zoetrope: All Story, while her non-fiction has appeared in the Guardian, Counterpunch, Drawbridge, Dawn, and Herald, among other journals and periodicals. Born in Lahore, and raised primarily in Karachi, Khan has also lived in the Philippines, Japan, England, and Hawaii—in other words, she has lived in every place that plays a part in her new novel, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, except the one from which her parents came. Not having access to her history is her history—it allows her to imagine the unimaginable.

Visit her at
and/or follow her: @uzmaaslamkhan_writer

Date: Saturday, 15th February 2020
Time: 07:30 PM – 08:30 PM
Venue: Faraar Gallery, T2F
Entry: Free!
Event Link:

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