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Ausma Zehanat Khan biography

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Ausma Zehanat Khan
Photo: Alan Klehr

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Ausma Zehanat Khan Biography

Ausma Zehanat Khan is the author of The Unquiet Dead, published by St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books, and winner of the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. Works in her critically acclaimed Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series include The Language of Secrets,  A Death in Sarajevo, Among the Ruins, and the forthcoming A Dangerous Crossing. The Khattak/Getty series has been optioned for television by Lionsgate.

The Bloodprint, Ausma Zehanat Khan's fantasy debut, has been hailed as "truly remarkable" and "one of the year's finest fantasy debuts". Published by Harper Voyager US & UK, The Bloodprint is Book One of The Khorasan Archives, a four-book epic fantasy series. Khan's non-fiction book, Ramadan, for middle-grade students, is to be published by Orca Books as part of the Origins series in Spring 2018. 

A frequent lecturer and commentator, Khan holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a research specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. She completed her LL.B. and LL.M. at the University of Ottawa, and her B.A. in English Literature & Sociology at the University of Toronto.

Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine. The first magazine to address a target audience of young Muslim women, Muslim Girl re-shaped the conversation about Muslim women in North America. The magazine was the subject of two documentaries, and hundreds of national and international profiles and interviews, including CNN International, Current TV, and Al Jazeera "Everywoman". 

Khan practiced immigration law in Toronto and has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University, as well as human rights and business law at York University. She is a long-time community activist and writer, and currently lives in Colorado with her husband.

Ausma Zehanat Khan's website

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Interview

Ausma Zehanat Khan explores what motivated her to shine light on the Bosnian war atrocities in her novel, The Unquiet Dead

Tell us about your new book.
The Unquiet Dead follows Canadian police officer Rachel Getty, whose stand-offish exterior hides a self-conscious, affection-starved interior, and her boss Esa Khattak, a thoughtful and charming devout Muslim, as they look into the death of Christopher Drayton, a local man who fell off a cliff. Drayton, it turns out, may have been one of the Bosnian war criminals responsible for the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995. Flashbacks from the Srebrenica massacre are woven into the mystery, until the past and present collide to reveal the truth.

What was the inspiration for your book?
The war in Bosnia, the subject of my Ph.D. dissertation, was the primary inspiration for my book, particularly the war crimes testimony that I became so intimately acquainted with. I knew that at some point I would tell a story from the perspective of the witnesses and victims of that war, because their stories continue to haunt me. My secondary inspiration has been the rise of Islamophobia in Western societies, particularly during election season when the fear of difference is a selling tactic for votes. I never forget that the war in Bosnia began with hate propaganda directed at the 'Other', and as a writer, I ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Ausma Zehanat Khan at BookBrowse
A Deadly Divide jacket A Dangerous Crossing jacket Among the Ruins jacket The Language of Secrets jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ausma Zehanat Khan but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Leila Aboulela

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    Leila Aboulela won the first Caine Prize for African Writing and is the author of many novels. Minaret was longlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize. The Translator was one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Unquiet Dead

    Try:
    The Kindness of Enemies
    by Leila Aboulela

  • Steven Galloway

    Steven Galloway

    Steven Galloway is the author of Finnie Walsh, Ascension, The Cellist of Sarajevo, and The Confabulist. He has won the Borders Original Voice Award, the OLA Evergreen Award, and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Unquiet Dead

    Try:
    The Cellist of Sarajevo
    by Steven Galloway

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