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Asian Booklist Quarterly: Apr-Jun 2022

Discover new books by British-Asian authors

Update from Kia

It’s been a somewhat manic start to the year. In January, I was in Antarctica on commission for Atlas & Boots. In February (probably the busiest month of my life), I sold a house, bought a house, moved across the country back to my hometown of London, got Covid, recovered from Covid, tied the knot (in a civil partnership), sent the second draft of Book 4 to my editor and then flew to the Maldives for a week in the sun. It was all good stuff (bar Covid), so I can’t complain, but I am glad that things calmed down in March.

Right now, I’m gearing up for the May paperback release of Next of Kin and taking stock of Atlas & Boots, which I always tend to neglect when I’m on a book deadline. 

In other news, my BBC short film Listen, Dad has been nominated for a Sandford St Martin Award. Screenwriting is not my forte and there were days where I felt completely out of my depth on this project, so I’m indebted to the brilliant actors and filmmakers who created magic on my behalf. (I’m not being falsely modest; when I was asked if I use Final Draft for my scripts, I was like “Um… I don’t have any scripts...”)

Anyway, it’s going to be a bumper quarter for British-Asian authors, so do take a look below and order these upcoming titles. If you’re after books that are already out, check out the previous issue of ABQ or specify your own date range over at the Asian Booklist website.

New books by British-Asian authors

A profound attempt to rebuild faith in human compassion after a terrorist attack, and an extraordinary recommitment to the politics of abolition, activism and radical hope. From the Desmond Elliott-winning author of We That Are Young. Usman Khan was convicted of terrorism-related offences at age 20 and spent eight years in high-security prison. In November of 2019, a year after his […]


 

Mary is a difficult grandmother for Durga to love. She is sharp-tongued and ferocious, with more demons than there are lines on her palms. When Durga visits her in rural Malaysia, she only wants to endure Mary, and the dark memories home brings, for as long as it takes to escape. But a reckoning is coming. Stuck together in the […]


 

When Arjan returns to the Black Country after his father's death, his family's corner shop represents everything he tried to leave behind. But his mother insists on keeping the business open, and Arjun finds himself being dragged back from London, and forced into big decisions about his own relationship. Yet Arjan's story isn't the first and it won't be the […]


 

Be twice as good as men and four times as good as white men. Jia Khan has always lived like this. Successful London lawyer Jia Khan is a long way from the Northern streets she knew as a child, where her father, Akbar Khan, led the Pakistani community and ran the local organised crime syndicate. Often his Jirga rule – […]


 

A woman strangled in a Mayfair flat. A man fleeing the scene. Xander Shute saw it all - but the police won't believe someone who lives on the streets. Determined to find justice for the murdered woman, Xander searches for answers. But as his recollection of the crime comes under increasing scrutiny, he is forced to confront other memories, including […]


 

The classic story, reimagined as a fully illustrated, beautiful picture book, perfect to share with a new generation. "I am Toad of Toad Hall. Motor car-snatching, prison-breaking Toad!" Enter the mischievous world of Toad of Toad Hall, and join Moly and Ratty on their riverside adventures. When Moly gets lost in the Wild Wood, Ratty and kind old Badger are […]

 

In I'm A Fan, single speaker uses the story of their experience in a seemingly unequal, unfaithful relationship as a prism through which to examine the complicated hold we each have on one another. With a clear and unforgiving eye, the narrator unpicks the behaviour of all involved, herself included, and makes startling connections between the power struggles at the heart of […]


 

Kamil Rahman is a cook in a Brick Lane restaurant. But he used to be a detective back in Kolkata. And somehow trouble still knows how to find him. When a young woman Kamil knows is murdered the police are convinced her boyfriend is the culprit. Kamil isn't so sure and feels he has no choice but to start his […]


 

1929. At a farm in Punjab, northern India, three girls are married to three brothers in one ceremony. For weeks afterwards, segregated from the men in the ‘china room’, heavily veiled, and meeting their husbands only under cover of darkest night, none of the girls is entirely sure which brother is hers. Mehar, the youngest of the three, is determined […]


 

The subject of numerous biographies and history books, Winston Churchill has been repeatedly voted as one of the greatest of Englishmen. Even today, Boris Johnson in his failing attempts to be magisterial, has adopted many of his hero's mannerisms. And, as Tariq Ali agrees, Churchill was undoubtedly right in 1940-41 to refuse to capitulate to fascism. However, he was also […]


 

Grief is like an inside joke: you have to have been there to really get it. The only things Cassandra knows about her family are the stories she’s heard in snatches over the years: about the aunt and cousin she never got to meet, about the man from the folded-up photograph in one of her aunt’s drawers, and of course […]


 

Sabrina Mahfouz once sat in a Whitehall interview room and was interrogated about everything from her political leanings to her private life. It was ostensibly a job interview, but implicit in their demands was the unspoken question: as a woman of Middle Eastern heritage, could she really be trusted? Years later, Sabrina found herself confronting the meaning behind this interrogation, […]


 

A journey of reclamation through the natural landscapes of the North, brilliantly exploring identity, nature, place and belonging. Beautifully written and truly inspiring, I Belong Here heralds a powerful and refreshing new voice in nature writing. Anita Sethi was on a journey through Northern England when she became the victim of a race-hate crime. The crime was a vicious attack […]


 

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. When Arifa Akbar discovered that her sister had fallen seriously ill, she assumed there would be a brief spell in hospital and then she'd be home. This was not to be. It was not until the day before she died that the family discovered she was […]


 

The last thing Jack Baxi expected when a detective rang his doorbell in the middle of the night was that he'd be tortured and left for dead, with a young woman he's never met before. Now, running for their lives, Jack and Aisha frantically try to discover why the detective was so convinced they both have information on a missing […]


 

On an ordinary working day, Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. His son’s nursery has called to ask where little Max is. Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot. Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she done […]


 

The Times' Best Books for Children 2021 "How quickly teenagers fall apart – and how fast they can heal. This is the hopeful message from Sita Brahmachari, a writer who mixes verse and prose to tell stories that stick." - Alex O’Connell, The Times Kai, Orla and Zak grew up together, their days spent on the patch of wilderness in […]


 

An auteur, together with his lead actors, is at a prestigious European festival to premiere his latest film. Alone one morning at a backstreet café, he strikes up a conversation with a local woman who takes him on a walk to uncover the city's secrets, historic and personal. As the walk unwinds, a story of love and tragedy emerges, and […]


 

Sadia Azmat has many different sides to her, she is the good Muslim sister and the loud and proud comedian, she is the quiet and loving friend and the horny and outspoken one. So why does everyone put her in a box and expect her to choose between one or the other? In a life of ups and downs, swings […]


 

Growing up, there is so much out of our control and so much we can feel helpless about. But together, we can make a difference. In this inspiring and practical handbook, bestselling children's author and Human Rights campaigner Onjali Raúf shares her top ten ways for creating change. With the help of her favourite fictional characters and some of the […]


 

A life-changing app. The woman who created it. And the man who took the credit. When Asha starts work on a revolutionary app together with her new husband Cyrus, she's thrilled. But while she creates an ingenious algorithm, Cyrus's charismatic appeal throws him into the spotlight. What happens when the app explodes into the next big thing? Gripping, witty and razor-sharp […]


 

How should we talk about sex? It is a thing we have and also a thing we do; a supposedly private act laden with public meaning; a personal preference shaped by outside forces; a place where pleasure and ethics can pull wildly apart. Since #MeToo many have fixed on consent as the key framework for achieving sexual justice. Yet consent […]


 

Women have been taught to 'lean in' and act like men to get ahead. But as the financial, environmental, and social systems crumble, isn't it time we had a different plan? The first two decades of the twenty-first century have seen financial collapse, a global pandemic, the devastation of our environment and the disintegration of democracies. But while some […]

 

She was never meant to be an ordinary woman, reading out her history as if it belonged to us. She was more than that. She was the way of learning the world. It was the last time most of us would see her but we didn't know that then. Aida is the defining rock star of her age; her every […]


 

These Impossible Things charts the dreams and disappointments of a group of British Muslim women; Jenna, Kees and Malak. They have been friends for years: the three of them together against the world. Yet one night changes everything between them and they are left adrift, marooned from each other as their lives take different paths. Without the support of each […]


 

A breathtaking collection of stories about our most intimate relationships: the misunderstandings between families, the silences between friends and the dissonance between lovers. Set between the blossoming countryside of England, the South of France and Tuscany, and the bustling cities of London and Lahore, Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love shines a light on […]


 

Calcutta, 1923. When a Hindu theologian is found murdered in his home, the city is on the brink of all-out religious war. Can officers of the Imperial Police Force, Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surendranath Banerjee track down those responsible in time to stop a bloodbath? Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and […]


 

The glow of my cigarette picks out a dark shape lying on the ground. I bend down to take a closer look. It’s a dead sparrow. I wondered if I had become that bird, disoriented and lost. Young, handsome and contemptuous of his father’s traditional ways, PK Malik leaves Bombay to start a new life in America. Stopping in Manchester […]


 

Demetri wants to study criminology at university to understand why people around him carry knives. Jhemar is determined to advocate for his community following the murder of a loved one. Carl's exclusion leaves him vulnerable to the sinister school-to-prison pipeline, but he is resolute to defy expectations. Tony, the tireless manager of a community centre, is fighting not only for […]

 

Editor's choice

The book I'm most excited about...

Sabrina Mahfouz once sat in a Whitehall interview room and was interrogated about everything from her political leanings to her private life. It was ostensibly a job interview, but implicit in their demands was the unspoken question: as a woman of Middle Eastern heritage, could she really be trusted? Years later, Sabrina found herself confronting the meaning behind this interrogation, and how it was specifically informed by the British Empire’s historical dominance in the Middle East. In These Bodies of Water, she combines history, reportage and memoir to examine this unacknowledged part of Britain’s colonial past. Order it now from AmazonWaterstones or Hive.  

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