Exploring Uzma Aslam Khan’s Writings: The Prize-Winning Pakistani Novelist

Fiction always offers an escape route to become part of another world with its own narratives. If you prefer the latter style of fiction writing then the famous Award-winning Pakistani Novelist, Uzma Aslam Khan has written some great masterpieces. You can enjoy your leisure hours and get to know the untold stories behind some major events of the world.

In this article, we will give an overview of her 5 books acclaimed at various national and international platforms.

Related: 10 amazing books by Pakistani writers

Uzma Aslam Khan: Famous Books and Biography

Uzma Aslam was born in Lahore and nurtured in Karachi. Therefore, she has developed a broad spectrum by spending time in London, Tokyo and New York. She received her early education from St Joseph’s Convent School and St Patrick’s High School. In her later years of studies, she studied from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and graduated from University of Arizona.

Despite her writings for various platforms, she was acclaimed for her top 5 best selling and prize-winning novels: The Story of Noble Rot, Trespassing, The Geometry of God, Thinner than Skin, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali. Let us dive deeper to explore the best of her writings.

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The Story of Noble Rot

Uzma Aslam Khan’s debut novel was published by Penguin Books in 2001 as well as Rupa & Co in 2009. The story revolves around the struggles of Malika. She is the wife of a carpenter named Chaudhry who feels dejected to see her five-year-old son Momin. Momin works as a labourer in a carpet factory owned by Mr. Masood. Despite her constant complaining, Chaudhry paid most of the amount for their baby daughter’s dowry. Malika dreams of sending Momin to school to complete his education and have a good reputation. So, she finally decides to secretly take her son away from the factory.

Malika took Momin to Mr. Saeed’s place, a widower, where she works as a maid. There are various themes revolving around Uzma’s novel. They include the miseries of child labor and the endeavors of a mother to give her children a chance to have a better life. It discussed the disintegration of the husband and wife relationship and the unavoidable fate. The manner in which she has crafted all these ideas into her writings paved the way for getting positive reviews. She got reviews from renowned periodicals and newspapers.

TrespassingThinner Than Skin, award-winning author, Novelist

The second novel was no less in terms of gaining the widespread attention and interest of the international audience. It got translated into almost fourteen languages in eighteen languages. Trespassing was published by Penguin Books and Harper Collins Publishers in 2003. The fiction presents the aftermath of Afghan War and anticipates what is to come before the onset of 9/11. As the name itself reflects, you will find several interweaving stories coming one after the other.

In addition to the narrative about Dia taught by her mother to marry a person you love instead of taking it as an obligation, there were other characters introduced in the fiction with their own trespassing such as the story of Anu, Salamat, Riffat and Shafqat. Trespassing was shortlisted for Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the year 2003.

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The Geometry of Godaward winning writer, award winning author, pakistani writers

Uzma Aslam Khan’s third novel is quite different from her first two publications. It portrays the story of a young girl named Amal. She spends most of her time with her grandfather who is a paleontologist. She faces criticism for her passion to explore fossils. Still, she continues her endeavors. Amal doesn’t pay any heed to these comments and remarks from society. She wants to become a successful paleontologist idealizing her grandfather. She also discovered an ancient fossil of a whale’s ear.

Now after all these years, Amal wants to explore and discover fossils. Ancient whales in Pakistan are of her interest.

Multiple countries including Pakistan have published this book. The book is multicultural. The book has won a Bronze Award in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. It’s a must-read for readers who would like to see high spirited women and their success stories.

Thinner than SkinMalika Parbat, Lake Saif ul Malook, pakistan vs india

Multiple countries published this book such as Pakistan, India, France, Turkey, UK, and the US in the year 2012. The book revolves around the life of Nadir, a young photographer working hard to excel in his career, and his half Pakistani beloved Farhana. Uzma Aslam Khan has crafted a thought-provoking relationship between the two characters. They are after their own personal gains irrespective of the needs of their other partner.

Khan has also provided a picture of archaic shamanistic rituals in her book. They were accustomed to Gujjars however the religious constraints have uprooted these essential practices violating the religious norms.

Love remains one of the central themes of the novel. It reflects a sense of insecurity among the characters who are unable to achieve their aims. The book has raised a voice against the ancient rituals and cultural practices being taken away with the advent of urbanization. Due to the same reason, Khan has provided a vivid picture of Malika Parbat and Lake Saif ul Malook in her writing.

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The Miraculous True History of Nomi AliSecond World War, British, History

As the name itself indicates, Uzma Aslam Khan has written this book to defy all the aforementioned histories. It reflects a true perspective with respect to Andaman Islands during the timeline of Second World War. This was the time when Japan seized the islands from the British. The story reflects the life of children born and raised by the prisoners of Andamans Islands: Nomi Ali with her siblings, Zee and Aye. The prisoners have no escape route despite completing their tenure. They were bound to serve the colonizers be it in the form of labor or espionage against their enemy. The book has won UBL Literary Awards in 2020 as the best English Fiction. 

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