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picture by Wahaj Alley

Bina Shah is a Pakistani-based writer, novelist and NYT columnist. She is the author of four novels and two collections of short stories. She is a regular columnist for the International New York Times, the Dawn, the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and has written for the Independent and the Guardian. Her fiction and non fiction essays have been published in Granta, Wasafiri, the Istanbul Review, Bengal Lights, Asian Cha, and Critical Muslim.


Before She Sleeps
A dystopian novel about a Middle Eastern society in which women are forced to take multiple Husbands, and a group of women who resist.
A Season For Martyrs
A young television reporter is sent to cover the return of Benazir Bhutto to Pakistan after years of exile, but he also has to deal with secrets of his own.
Slum Child
About a little Christian girl growing up in a Karachi slum – a best-seller in Italy, and published in India and Spain.

Blessings and Other Stories (Alhamra 2008)
The 786 Cybercafe (Alhamra 2004)
Where They Dream in Blue (Alhamra 2001)
Animal Medicine (OUP 2000)

The New York Times
Al Jazeera
The Huffington Post
The Guardian

The Buzz about Bina

Before She Sleeps

“Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale won’t want to miss this one” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A fascinating new angle on emotional labour” – Margaret Atwood on Twitter

“Well-crafted feminist dystopian fiction” – Tor.com

“An overdue enlargement of the cultural conversation that Atwood’s novel continues to provoke.” – Kirkus Reviews

“An important addition to the genre of feminist dystopian fiction. What makes Shah’s contribution to this literary movement most valuable is its non-western-centric perspective, as it contextualises region-specific sociopolitical, cultural, and economic conditions within the global fight for women’s rights. ” – Strange Horizons


A Season For Martyrs

“Riveting and articulate, A Season for Martyrs by Pakistani journalist Bina Shah is the author’s debut novel for an American readership and clearly denotes her ability to deftly craft and complex story of suspenseful twists and unexpected turns that holds the reader’s total attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists.— Buzzfeed, “10 Amazing Female Novelists Under 50”

“History and memory have long fingers that reach into the present and beyond and in A Season for Martyrs Shah’s characters navigate that tenuous space between worlds beautifully.” – The Toronto Review of Books

“With Bina Shah’s excellent writing and her skill as a storyteller, A Season for Martyrs becomes a haunting, memorable homage—to Sindh, to Bhutto, to the unnamed martyrs of a beautiful land.” – New Indian Express

“We suspect she will continue to inform, inspire and – most importantly – bring her two worlds, Pakistan and America, together.” – India.com

“A complex and captivating novel” – Asialyst.com

“Shah writes with grace and fluency, and it is clear from the start that her book reflects a maturity in style and skill at plot-management that are the hallmarks of the seasoned writer. Shah writes about her native soil as only an insider can. What gives the novel additional warmth and luster is the manner in which she portrays legendary Sindhi heroes.” — Midwest Book Review

“Good reading, urgently and cleanly told, for those interested in world events, as well as issues of identity and place in community.” — Library Journal, “Top Indie Fiction for Fall 2014”

“Bina Shah is an admirable writer” – BAPSI SIDHWA, author of Cracking India

“Listen to the voice of Bina Shah–you will hear a young, confident, compassionate new Pakistan” – PROFESSOR AKBAR AHMED, author, playwright, poet, and Chair of Islamic Studies at American University

“Shah’s novel is both fascinating and eye-opening.” – Publishers Weekly

“Shah writes with grace and fluency” – Muftah.org


Bina is represented by Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates.