Bina Shah: The Influential English Writer of Pakistan

Bina Shah: The Influential English Writer of Pakistan

Bina Shah is a renowned Pakistani writer in English, living in the city of Karachi.

Early life and education

The eldest of 3 children, Shah was born in the city of Karachi to a Sindhi family. She gained a degree of B.A. in Psychology from Wellesley College and a M.Ed in Educational Technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA.

Bina Shah is a fellow of the University of Iowa, having taken part in the International Writers Program at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the year of 2011.

Career of Bina Shah

Bina is the author of 4 novels and 2 collections of short stories; her novel Slum Child was published in the year of 2008; she has been published in English as well as few other languages. She is a contributing opinion writer for the International New York Times and writes a monthly column for Dawn, a newspaper in Pakistan published in the city of Karachi. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in GrantaThe Independent, WasafiriCritical MuslimInterlitQ, the Istanbul ReviewAsian Cha, and the collection And the World Changed. She holds degrees from the institute of Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is an alum of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. Her novel A Season for Martyrs was published in the year of 2014.

Literary career

Bina’s first book, a volume of short stories known as Animal Medicine, was published in the year of 2000. 1st first novel, Where They Dream in Blue, was published by Alhamra in 2001. A second novel, The 786 Cybercafé, was published by Alhamra in the year of 2004. In 2005, “The Optimist”, a short story by Bina, was released in an anthology called And the World Changed (Women Unlimited/OUP); an essay called “A Love Affair with Lahore” was published in an anthology edited by Bapsi Sidhwa called City of Sin and Splendour – Writings on Lahore (Penguin India – Pakistani title Beloved City -— OUP). In the year of 2007, Alhamra published her 2nd collection of short stories, Blessings.

Bina’s 3rd novel Slum Child was published in India by Tranquebar, an imprint of Westland-Tata, in the year of 2010. An Italian-language version was published in 2009 under the title La Bambina Che Non Poteva Sognare by Newton Compton Editori in Italy, where it reached number 3 on the paperback bestseller list, and sold more than 20,000 copies. It was released in Spanish by Grijalbo, an imprint of Random House Mondadori, in the month of June 2011.

Bina’s 4th novel, A Season for Martyrs, was published by Delphinium Books (November 2014) to critical acclaim. It was also published in Italy by Newton Compton as Il Bambino Che Credeva Nella Liberta in the year of 2010. For this novel, Bina Shah was awarded the Premio Internazionale in the Un Mondi di Bambini category of the Almalfi Coast Literary Festival in 2010 for translated fiction.

Bina Shah was chosen by OK! Pakistan as Best Writer of 2014 year.




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