Free-spirited and rebellious, Saira has grown up in California with her beautiful, obedient sister Ameena. From childhood, she has broken the boundaries between her desire for independence and her family's traditions - in particular, her Bombay-bred mother's idea of how girls should behave. Now, hungry for experience and curious about the world, Saira travels to Karachi for a wedding, and stumbles on family secrets that will shape the rest of her life.
It's the beginning of a journey of understanding and reconciliation that goes back three generations. Further surprises are to come as Saira visits London and discovers the political forces that have driven her father's family, in India and in England. As her background gradually reveals itself, Saira finds that the battles she faces - over love, belonging and fulfilment - have faced others before, and comes to realise that her many-layered inheritance is a thing to be treasured.
In a beautifully written and deeply moving narrative, Nafisa Haji explores issues of displacement and belonging and the lure of family, home and tradition versus career and the excitement of the wider world - for men as well as women.
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"Nafisa Haji has written a moving meditation on the meaning of family, tradition, and the ties that bind. The Writing on My Forehead is lyrical and touching. It is a story of mother and daughters, and a story of a young Muslim woman at crossroads, shaped by the forces of her past, her religion, her roots, her culture, and her own determined will." ( Khaled Hosseini, author of THE KITE RUNNER and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS)
"Impressive ... Haji achieves an effortless commingling of family and social history in this intricate story that connects a young woman and her family over continents and through generations" ( Publishers Weekly)
"A superb debut ... Deeply moving and involving" ( Red)
"Compelling ... An impressive debut" ( The Gloss Magazine)
"Haji deftly positions her appealing heroine as witness to her family's history. . . . A masterful first novel" ( Booklist)
'A moving meditation on the meaning of family, tradition and the ties that bind' Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
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