Uzma Jalaluddin writes a culture and parenting column for the Toronto Star. Her debut novel, Ayesha At Last, is a revamped Pride and Prejudice set in a close-knit Toronto Muslim community. The novel was a summer pick on The Today Show, long-listed for the Toronto Book Awards as well as the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, was a Globe and Mail’s Favourite Book of 2018 and named Best Romance 2019 by Publisher’s Weekly, and The Library Journal. It was also the Cosmopolitan UK Book of the Year for 2019, and a semi-finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards. Ayesha At Last has been optioned for film by Pascal Pictures. Uzma lives in Markham with her husband and two sons, where she teaches high school.
Uzma’s newest novel, Hana Khan Carries On, was published in April 2021.
Visit Uzma’s website.
From the publisher:
Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.
When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.
As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.
“A sweet and satisfying retelling of “You’ve Got Mail” and absolutely irresistible. I read the whole book in one sitting and cannot wait for more from Uzma Jalaluddin!”Sonya Lalli, author
“Jalaluddin cleverly illustrates the social pressures facing young Indian-Muslim adults…a highly entertaining tale of family, community, and romance.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Come for Darcy reimagined as a hyper-conservative young man and Elizabeth Bennet as a wannabe poet frustrated by family obligation; stay for Uzma Jalaluddin’s warm portrait of life for twentysomething Muslims in suburban Toronto struggling to honor their heritage while pursuing their dreams.”The Globe and Mail