Born in Pakistan, Uzma is an award-winning author of five novels. The daughter of Partition refugees, she describes her childhood as “forcibly uprooted and happily nomadic,” she has spent time in the Philippines, Japan, and England. Her experiences living as a minority drew her to the power of storytelling. Her family moved back to Pakistan shortly before the military coup of General Zia. It was a change both personal and political that Khan describes as her “transition from childhood to adulthood,” one that would also shape her writing. In 1987 and 1991, she was awarded scholarships to study in New York and Arizona, respectively. She then moved again, to Morocco and Hawaii, and now makes her home in western Massachusetts. She is a certified mixologist and avid bird-watcher.
Her novels include Trespassing, nominated for a Commonwealth Prize 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 most recent novel, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, is the first known fictional account of the Andaman Islands under British and Japanese rule, preceding and during the Second World War. It was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! Best Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2019 and the Karachi Literature Festival-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize 2020 and won the Karachi Literature Festival-Getz Pharma Prize in 2021, and also won the 9th UBL Literary Award English Language Fiction category in 2020. Her short stories include “Plum Island,” winner of Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction competition 2019; “My Mother is a Lunar Crater,” which won second prize in Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Competition 2018, making Khan the first repeat prize winner in the competition’s history. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Granta, AGNI, The Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, Zoetrope: All Story, Calyx, the Guardian, Counterpunch, Herald, among other anthologies and journals.