About Uzma Jalaluddin

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.

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From the publisher:

AYESHA SHAMSI has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement between Khalid and Hafsa is announced, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and his family; and the truth she realizes about herself. But Khalid is also wrestling with what he believes and what he wants. And he just can’t get this beautiful, outspoken woman out of his mind.


“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 honour their heritage while pursuing their dreams.”

The Globe and Mail

“This sweet debut novel ticks all the boxes for one of summer’s best reads: it’s smart, witty, romantic and utterly charming.”

Canadian Living

“An uproarious romp, filled with farcical cases of mistaken identity, disastrous proposals and a big Bollywood wedding.”

Toronto Life