Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Review by Shyamala Parthasarathy

“…English came with the colonizers, but its literature is part of our heritage too, as is pre-partition writing.” I snort at these lines, appearing somewhere close to one-third of the way through Soniah Kamal’s Unmarraigeable, with its tagline of being a Pakistani Pride and Prejudice—which was what drew me to pick up the book in the first place. One of my earliest memories is sitting in a darkened film theater, watching Aishwarya Rai coo the soft sounds of Kandukondain Kandukondain, the Tamil adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, in her beautiful white ballgown. I remember being enthralled by the settings and the color and the desert dances in the dream-sequence music that is so typical of Indian cinema. I remember the laughter and the tears. And I remember, years later, picking up the original Jane Austen book and feeling completely let down, because Regency Romances were too white, too classist and too inaccessible for me, as a brown preteen, to fully enjoy. … More Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Review by Lauren Hathaway

Fifteen-year-old Janna Yusuf can sort every person in her life into one of three simple categories: saints, misfits, and monsters. There are those who are holier-than-thou, like her brother’s fiancé, Sarah. There are the people who don’t quite fit in, like Janna. And then there are the monsters masquerading as saints, like Farooq: the boy who is revered by his community for his piousness but has also sexually assaulted Janna. … More Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali