Fatima Farheen Mirza biography

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Fatima Farheen Mirza
Photo: Gregg Richards

Fatima Farheen Mirza

Fatima Farheen Mirza Biography

Fatima Farheen Mirza was born and raised in California. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship. A Place for Us (June 12, 2018) is her debut novel and is the first literary work acquired by award-winning actress and producer Sarah Jessica Parker as editorial director of her newly launched imprint, SJP for Hogarth.



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Interview

Fatima Farheen Mirza talks about her first novel, A Place For Us, which is the first literary work acquired by award-winning actress and producer Sarah Jessica Parker as editorial director of her newly launched imprint, SJP for Hogarth.

A Place for Us is set within a Muslim American family and their community, and explores many universal themes defining those important relationships: love and loss, familial and cultural expectations, honor and betrayal, faith and tradition. There's so much emotion within these pages. Did all of those elements evolve naturally for you as your writing progressed? 

While writing, I never explicitly thought about the characters in relation to these themes, only asked myself--what do the characters want in this moment? How are their needs and hopes in conflict with one another? But I believe that the universal themes you mentioned--love and loss, familial and cultural expectations, honor and betrayal, etc.--are found in every life, in every story to different degrees, even if the particulars of the plot change.

The novel is divided into four parts, with perspectives and voices from several main characters in this family: Layla, the mother; Hadia, the oldest daughter; Amar, the son; and Rafiq, the father. As this story unfolds, we get to see each character's point of view of the same situation, often a small yet pivotal moment in time. Was that a difficult balance for you as an author? Did one ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Fatima Farheen Mirza at BookBrowse
A Place for Us jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Fatima Farheen Mirza 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

  • Diana Abu-Jaber

    Diana Abu-Jaber

    Diana Abu-Jaber is the author of several novels, including Arabian Jazz, Crescent, and Birds of Paradise. Crescent was awarded the 2004 PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction and the Before Columbus Foundation's American ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Place for Us

    Try:
    Crescent
    by Diana Abu-Jaber

  • Monica Ali

    Monica Ali

    Monica Ali is the daughter of English and Bangladeshi parents.

    She came to England at the age of three, and her first home was Bolton in Greater Manchester. Ali later studied at Oxford University.

    Her first novel, Brick ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Place for Us

    Try:
    Brick Lane
    by Monica Ali

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Book Discussion
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