Novelist, Children's Book Author, Editor, Poet
Shahbano Bilgrami is a published poet, writer and freelance editor whose debut novel, Without Dreams, was long listed in 2007 for the Inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize. Those Children, her second novel, was released by HarperCollins in January of 2017 and was long listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Fiction. Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Shahbano was educated in Canada, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. Shahbano is both an avid reader and book reviewer. Her articles have been published in print magazines as well as online and she has written and edited extensively for children. She is currently working on her third novel and is also involved in a number of projects for young readers, including a primary reading series and a middle-grade novel about adoption.
Photograph courtesy of Saada Bilgrami.
"This is a delightful and sensitive tale about the innocence of childhood and growing up, of family ties, loss and love. Imaginative and poetic, with touches of humour and childlike innocence, this novel presents unique and engaging characters seeking their roots."
From the review of Those Children in the Deccan Herald by Monideepa Sahu
HarperCollins India, 2017
When ten-year-old Ferzana Mahmud and her three older siblings lose their mother to cancer, everything changes. Their heartbroken father moves them from their familiar Chicago suburb to a city thousands of miles away in his native Pakistan. To help them adjust to life in Karachi and to the eccentricities of their extended clan, Ferzana, Fatima, Raza, and Jamila escape into a fantasy world of their own making. As superhuman creatures with incredible powers, they investigate the members of their grandfather's household. In the process, they discover astonishing facts not only about the Mahmuds but also about the nature of family, love, and loss in the troubled yet beguiling city that is now their home. Told from the perspective of an adult Ferzana reflecting over that fateful year, we see Karachi through the impressionable eyes of a ten-year-old child as she negotiates everything from religious schism and genealogy to patriotism and puberty. Ferzana s love of sleuthing helps her to piece together her family s complicated history, a history that brings with it the promise of hope and redemption.