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Further Reading: Ausma Zehanat Khan

Besides the Khorasan Archives, did you know that Ausma Zehanat Khan has a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law, and also writes crime novels? As part of Ausma’s Guest of Honor week, we’re pleased to compile some of her interviews, articles, and guest posts, found around the web.

In Ausma’s Own Words:

  • Writing about Human Rights and Civil Rights” (2015), a guest post for Southern Writer’s Author’s Blog: “I’ve always been deeply interested in human rights and civil rights issues, so with every book I write, I’m looking to tell a story that focuses on one or several of these issues.”

  • A guest post for Dear Reader (2015): “I’ve been an untrained, unqualified singer since I was five years old and insisted to my mother that I should have won first prize at a competition instead of coming in second for mispronouncing the words, ‘Winter Ade.’”

  • If the Devils of Our Imagination Are Let Loose in Politics, What Can Literature Do?” (2017), an article written for The Globe and Mail: “[The novel] must insist on complexity and nuance, it should reflect a plurality of voices, no matter how challenging the task.”

  • Fighting Injustice with Fiction: The Activism of Ausma Zehanat Khan, On and Off the Page” (2018), a post for CrimeReads: “[When] we connect with each other’s humanity, person to person, story to story, we’re able to forge a bond of empathy, which may in turn lead to action.”

  • Month of Joy: My Father” (2019), a post for The Skiffy and Fanty Show: “[My father] helped me with these projects, teaching me to grapple with all sides of an issue, but he made sure I understood that the well-being of the patient should be central. This is just one of many reasons why he was an amazing father, and just one example of how deeply he shaped my character and worldview.”

  • Grief and Understanding” (2019), an article originally found in The Globe and Mail, published in the wake of the New Zealand shooting: “My work as a writer is to describe that weight: to make it tangible and real, so that the wall of separation between those who experience the impact of hate and those who are immune to it erodes.”

Ausma in Conversation:

  • Interview for Megan Write Now (2017): “What I find inspiring is when people try to do the right thing even when the odds are stacked against them. It’s not that you succeed at bringing down Goliath, it’s that you try because you know you deserve better.”

  • Interview for The Qwillery (2017): “Much of the fantasy I read is about the struggle between good and evil and the desire of good people to reclaim their worlds from darkness. I find that necessary and relevant today.”

  • On Feminism, Islam and Civil Liberties in an Era of Fear: Ausma Zehanat Khan in Conversation with Monia Mazigh” (2017), an article for The Literary Review of Canada: “I’m a Muslim woman of South Asian background, born in England, essentially Canadian, but I’m also starting to feel like an American, and I just as frequently refer to myself as Pakistani, or some hybrid identity that encompasses all of these. I negotiate these identities differently depending on the cultural context I’m in.”

  • I’m Novelist Ausma Zehanat Khan, and This Is How I Work” (2018), an interview for LifeHacker: “With my Khattak/Getty crime series, I’m looking outward at intersections and points of conflict between different communities. With The Bloodprint and The Black Khan, I’m looking inward at the communities I come from, and attempting to be reflective and self-critical.”

  • Writing Novels with a Purpose: Muslim Woman of the Week: Ausma Zehanat Khan” (2019), an interview with MissMuslim: “Everything I’ve written, my years with Muslim Girl Magazine, the life I’ve lived, the women and communities I know, and the depth of sisterhood I’ve benefited from throughout my life—it all speaks back to this. It rejects a lack of agency as the prism through which to view Muslim women.”

 

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