Reviews & Interviews -- Those Children

September 15, 2017

Growing Pains: An Interview with Shahbano Bilgrami

"Shahbano Bilgrami, whose book Without Dreams was longlisted for the Man Asian Prize in 2007, and who has penned children’s books, marked a new milestone in fiction for adults – a successful foray at that, having earned her a prestigious nomination for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 – with her novel, Those Children."

Interview in Desi Writers' Lounge DWL by Pooja Pande

August 15, 2017

Three Pakistani Authors on DSC Prize Longlist

Newsweek, Pakistan

August 15, 2017

‘Maturity and Humanity’: The DSC Prize For South Asian Literature’s Longlist

Dennis Abrams,

August 13, 2017

Inside the Longlist of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature

"Pakistani writer Shahbhano Bilgrami’s Those Children also deals with the psychology of migrant children in the aftermath of loss, but moves in the opposite direction – from the suburbs of Chicago to their father’s native Karachi." 

Arnav Adikari, The Wire

July 16, 2017

Home Truths

"Ranging across multiple themes and harnessing ideas from the dual perspectives of a child as well as an adult, Bilgrami’s Those Children is an engaging read that has more to offer than meets the eye. With smooth prose, relatable characters and beautiful descriptions of people as well as places, it is emotionally moving and at the end it all comes 'together like the pieces of an elaborate Sindhi rilly [sic], whose dizzying geometric sequences, when looked at as a whole, formed an intricate, multi-layered pattern that told the entire story of the past.'"

Review of Those Children in Books & Authors, Dawn, by Amaara Khan

June 30, 2017

Coming to Terms

"The power of Bilgrami’s narrative lies in her ability to portray loss, sorrow and complex emotions with sensitivity, insight and humour." 

Review of "Those Children" in Newsline by Muneeza Shamsie

May 28, 2017

Life Through the Prism of Childhood

"Simplicity and innocence is maintained in the narrative all through as Shahbano successfully keeps the language true to a 10-year-old’s sensibilities and experience. Glimpses of life in Karachi as well as blending of humour in complex situations make the novel a riveting read. The story has a natural flow as the author seems to be moving with the narrative rather than binding it in the limits of chapters and timelines. The twist at the end gives an interesting climax to the story and life moves on with Ferzana and her siblings as they finally find home in Karachi."

Review of Those Children in The Tribune (India) by Geetu Vaid

April 16, 2017

As the Kids See It

"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."

Review of Those Children in the Deccan Herald by Monideepa Sahu

April 14, 2017

You Can't Categorize People by Borders

"Like her first novel, her latest work of fiction, Those Children, came to India without a gala launch. Soon, though, it got people talking about Ferzana, the central character, a 10-year-old girl who comes to Karachi from Chicago following the death of her mother. Some wondered whether her work was that of an outsider looking in. Others argued that it was all about going back to one’s roots. Either way, Shahbano Bilgrami could smile some more. She was not destined to be a one-book wonder."

Interview in Frontline, The Hindu, by Ziya Us Salam

March 20, 2017

Infinite Visions of Faith

"A Pakistani American immigrant family returns to Karachi from Chicago. For the children, it's a bewildering can of worms, as well as a sentimental education."


Review of Those Children in Outlook India by Rakhshanda Jalil

March 19, 2017

Homecoming in a Morphing Pakistan

"Nebulous often, the narrative holds a mirror to a changing Pakistan in the last four decades..."

Review of Those Children, in The Statesman, New Delhi, by Madhusree Chatterjee

March 01, 2017

Of Children and Fantasy: A Candid Conversation

"Those Children revolves around the lives of four siblings, and is told from the perspective of the youngest child, Ferzana. It sheds light on the emotional development and fantastic escapist tendencies adopted by children. But to only say this much is unjust, as the book offers much more with multiple layers of information and creativity, forming an enchanting imaginary narrative. Without giving too much away, it is safe to say that it ties together fiction and actual events in a captivating manner."

Interview in Youlin Magazine by Samar F. Zia 

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