Trespassing A Novel

Uzma Aslam Khan




Trade Paperback

448 Pages


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Shortlisted for The Commonwealth Prize, Eurasia Back in Karachi for his father's funeral, Daanish, a Pakistani student changed by his years at an American university, is entranced by a girl in the traditional dupatta who appears one day at the house of mourning. But the dupatta is deceptive; Dia is the modern daughter of a mother who, as the owner of a silk farm and factory, has achieved a degree of freedom rare among Pakistani women. It will take a handful of silkworms, fattened on mulberry leaves, to bring Daanish and Dia together. But their union will forever rupture the peace of two households and three families, destroying a stable present built on the repression of an anguished past.

In this sweeping novel of modern Pakistan, Uzma Aslam Khan takes us deep into a world of radical contrasts, from the stifling demands of tradition and family to the daily oppression of routine political violence, from the sensual vistas of the silk farm to the teeming streets of Karachi—stinking, crumbling, and corrupt.


Praise for Trespassing

"Khan's prose is striking. Some scenes are gut-wrenching, while others are surprisingly humorous—and all presenting a look at life in a country that remains an enigma."—Simon Read, San Francisco Chronicle
"Trespassing moves skillfully between private agonies and the big dirty politics of the region . . . Khan's picture of her hometown is detailed, generous, and committed."—Time Out London
"Khan's prose may be subtle, yet her style is as forceful as any of the great storytellers who have emerged from the sub-continent. But Trespassing doesn't need the pigeonholing of nationality in order to hold its audience; Khan is creating a tradition and style of her own."—Nilanjana S. Roy, Literary Review
"Trespassing is a celebration of the importance of perception, inquisitiveness about the smaller details of life, but Khan does not shy away from the bigger picture. Writing intelligently, she explores colonialism, identity, and belief without presuming to offer any conclusions or solutions. Khan works with questions; hints and queries replace absolutes."—The New Statesman
"A narrative as intricately patterned and vivid as lengths of top-quality silk . . . This image of doomed love and a violent society is original, powerful, and inevitably sad."—Daily Telegraph

"An abundance of sumptuous prose, a gripping story, layers of plot seamlessly woven together . . . a rich, tender portrait of youth, family, life, love, and Pakistan. Superlative."—Sunday Times (London)
"A contemporary romantic tragedy displays a startlingly fresh voice as Khan illuminates the complex social, religious, and economic mores of Pakistan while offering an outsider's hard-eyed perspective on American attitudes during the first Gulf War . . . A rare, wonderful gift of a novel that defies mere plot synopsis: a complex fictional world that illuminates the real one and seamlessly merges the personal with the larger sociopolitical conundrums we all face today."—Kirkus Reviews
"Khan tackles political and religious themes as adroitly as she handles the haunting love story, and what emerges is a brilliant, lush portrait of Karachi, a metropolis teeming with corruption, violence, and social tension."—Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads



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Uzma Aslam Khan grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and has lived in New York and Arizona. She lives in Lahore, Pakistan.
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  • Uzma Aslam Khan

  • Uzma Aslam Khan grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, and has lived in New York and Arizona. She currently lives in Lahore with her husband, author David Maine.



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