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The War to Be Her Delve Deeper Reading List

Adult Fiction

Shamsie, Kamila. Home Fire. Penguin Random House, 2017.

Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma’s worst fears are confirmed.

Ahmad, Jamil. The Wandering Falcon. Riverhead Books, 2012.

Tor Baz, known as the Wandering Falcon, is a young boy who roams the Federally Administered Tribal Area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The area has become politically volatile and dangerous since the Taliban’s takeover. As Baz traverses the FATA, he encounters the inhabitants that give this land its reputation for danger—but also for humanity and love. This book is a glimpse into the clash between tradition and modernity that is playing out in a poorly understood region of modern-day Pakistan.

Bhutto, Fatima. The Shadow of the Crescent Moon. Penguin Books, 2013.

The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, Mina, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined.

Hanif, Mohammed. A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Vintage, 2009.

Ali Shigri, Pakistan Air Force pilot and Silent Drill Commander of the Fury Squadron, is on a mission to avenge his father’s suspicious death, which the government calls a suicide. Ali’s target is none other than General Zia ulHaq, dictator of Pakistani. Enlisting a rag-tag group of conspirators, including his cologne-bathed roommate, a hash-smoking American lieutenant, and a mango-besotted crow, Ali sets his elaborate plan in motion. There’s only one problem: the line of would-be Zia assassins is longer than he could have possibly known.

Haji, Nafisa. The Writing on my Forehead. William Morrow, 2009.

A free-spirited and rebellious Muslim-American of Indo-Pakistani descent, willful, intelligent Saira Qader rejected the constricting notions of family, duty, obligation, and fate, choosing instead to become a journalist, making the world her home. But when tragedy strikes, throwing Saira’s life into turmoil, the woman who circled the globe to uncover the details of other lives must confront the truths of her own. In need of understanding, she looks to the stories of those who came before—her grandparents, a beloved aunt, her mother and father.

Hamid, Mosin. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Harcourt Press, 2007.

Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his relationship with Erica shifting.