Saturday, March 9, 2019

Soniah Kamal

Soniah Kamal's new novel is Unmarriageable.

From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Why did you decide to write an updated version of Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan?

A: There were no stories written in English and set in Pakistan when I was growing up and these were something I longed to read alongside Judy Blume, L.M. Montgomery, and Enid Blyton. As such, I used to transpose stories I read, so English scones would become Pakistani samosas, etc.

As soon as I read Pride and Prejudice, a tale which seemed to be quintessentially Pakistani with its marriage-obsessed mother, themes of close friendships and sisterhood, and biting social satire, I knew that I wanted to read a Pakistani version in the form of a parallel retelling. I decided that, if I could, I would write it one day.

Q: What do you think modern-day Pakistan and the England of Jane Austen's time have in common?

A: Women in Regency England lived terribly constrained lives. They could not own property or, unlike servants, if they were from the middle class and above, they could not work for a living. Marrying well was literally their means to survival.

This is not the case at all in...[read on]
Visit Soniah Kamal's website.

--Marshal Zeringue