Kamila Shamsie

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Kamila Shamsie at the Freeword Centre London November 2015
Kamila Naheed Shamsie[1]
Born August 13, 1973
Karachi, Pakistan
Occupation Writer
Nationality Pakistani
Alma mater Hamilton College, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Genre Novels
Notable works Author of In the City by the Sea (1998) (novel)

Kamila Naheed Shamsie (born 13 August 1973)[2] is a Pakistani "novelist" who writes in the English language.


Shamsie is the daughter of journalist and editor Muneeza Shamsie[citation needed]. She was brought up in Karachi[citation needed] and attended Karachi Grammar School[citation needed]. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College[citation needed], and an MFA from the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst[citation needed], where she was influenced by the Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali. In 2007, she moved to London and is now a dual national of the UK and Pakistan.[1]


Shamsie wrote her first novel, In The City by the Sea, while still at UMass, and it was published in 1998. It was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the UK,[3] and Shamsie received the Prime Minister's Award for Literature in Pakistan in 1999[citation needed]. Her second novel, Salt and Saffron, followed in 2000, after which she was selected as one of Orange's 21 Writers of the 21st century[citation needed]. Her third novel, Kartography, received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys award in the UK.[3] Both Kartography and her next novel, Broken Verses, have won the Patras Bokhari Award from the Academy of Letters in Pakistan[citation needed]. Her fifth novel Burnt Shadows was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.[3]

In 2009, Kamila Shamsie donated the short story "The Desert Torso" to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project – four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the Air collection.[4] In 2010, Shamsie won an Award from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.[5] She attended the 2011 Jaipur Literature Festival, where she spoke about her style of writing. She participated in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty-Six Books, with a piece based on a book of the King James Bible.[6] In 2013 she was included in the Granta list of 20 best young British writers.[7] She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.[3] A God in Every Stone was shortlisted for the 2015 Walter Scott Prize.[8]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Kamila Shamsie on applying for British Citizenship: 'I never felt safe'", The Guardian, 4 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014
  2. "Kamila Shamsie: Following in her father's footsteps". South Asian Diaspora. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Kamila Shamsie". Bloomsbury. Retrieved 21 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The Desert Torso" – A short story from the OX-Tales series/
  5. http://www.anisfield-wolf.org
  6. Kamila Shamsie - "The Letter in response to Philemon", Sixty-Six Books, Bush Theatre.
  7. Best of Young British Novelists 4, Granta 123.
  8. "2015 Shortlist announced". Walter Scott Prize. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links