Set in the Andaman Islands over the course of oppressive imperial regimes, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali is a complex, gripping homage to those omitted from the collective memory.
Nomi and Zee are Local Borns--their father a convict condemned by the British to the Andaman Islands, their mother shipped off with him. The islands are an inhospitable place, despite their surreal beauty. In this unreliable world, the children have their friend Aye, the pet hen Priya and the distracted love of their parents to shore them up from one day to the next. Meanwhile, within the walls of the prison, Prisoner 218 D wages a war on her jailers with only her body and her memory.
When war descends upon this overlooked outpost of Empire, the British are forced out and the Japanese move in. Soon the first shot is fired and Zee is forced to flee, leaving Nomi and the other islanders to contend with a new malice. The islands--and the seas surrounding them--become a battlefield, resulting in tragedy for some and a brittle kind of freedom for others, who find themselves increasingly entangled in a mesh of alliances and betrayals.
Ambitiously imagined and hauntingly alive, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali writes into being the interwoven stories of people caught in the vortex of history, powerless yet with powers of their own: of bravery and wonder, empathy and endurance. Uzma Aslam Khan's extraordinary new novel is an unflinching and lyrical page-turner, an epic telling of a largely forgotten chapter in the history of the subcontinent.
We recommend that guests wear masks on the night.
Uzma Aslam Khan is the author of five novels translated worldwide to critical acclaim. These include Trespassing, recipient of a Commonwealth Prize nomination in 2003; The Geometry of God, a Kirkus Reviews' Best Book of 2009; Thinner Than Skin, nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize and DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and winner of the French Embassy Prize for Best Fiction at the Karachi Literature Festival 2014. Khan’s new novel, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! Best Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2019 and won the 9th UBL Literary Awards English Language Fiction category 2020 as well as the Karachi Literature Festival-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize 2021. Read more at https://www.uzmaaslamkhan.com and http://uzmaaslamkhan.blogspot.com.
Mara Ahmed is a Pakistani American interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker based on Long Island. She has directed and produced three films, The Muslims I Know (2008), Pakistan One on One (2011), and A Thin Wall (2015). A Thin Wall was acquired by MUBI India in 2020 and is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime. Mara’s most recent multimedia installation, The Warp & Weft [Face to Face], based on an archive of stories she curated in 2020, was exhibited at Rochester Contemporary Art Center and her experimental video Le Mot Juste [Part One] was selected for a juried exhibition organized by Chicago’s South Asia Institute. She is now working on The Injured Body, a film about racism in America that focuses on the voices of women of color. Her websites are: www.NeelumFilms.com and www.MaraAhmedStudio.com
In order to keep our events program running in uncertain times, we're asking attendees to hold their place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the event on any product in store or in our bar & café. You can alternatively reserve a spot by pre-purchasing the event book. If you have a change of heart or plans, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll gladly refund you and release your spot, up to 24 hours before the event. Thanks for understanding, and for supporting your local bookstore.