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|Kamila Naheed Shamsie|
Kamila Shamsie reading at "The Global Soul: Imagining the Cosmopolitan" 2017
August 13, 1973|
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Shamsie was born to journalist and editor Muneeza Shamsie and is granddaughter of Begum Jahanara Habibullah. She was brought up in Karachi where she attended Karachi Grammar School. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Hamilton College, and an MFA from the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 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.
Shamsie wrote her first novel, In The City by the Sea, while still in college, and it was published in 1998 when she was 25. It was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the UK, and Shamsie received the Prime Minister's Award for Literature in Pakistan in 1999. 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. Her third novel, Kartography (2002), received widespread critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys award in the UK. Both Kartography and her next novel, Broken Verses (2005), have won the Patras Bokhari Award from the Academy of Letters in Pakistan. Her fifth novel Burnt Shadows (2009) was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction. A God in Every Stone (2014) was shortlisted for the 2015 Walter Scott Prize and the Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction. Her seventh novel, Home Fire, was longlisted for the 2017 Booker Prize, and in 2018 won the Women's Prize for Fiction.
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. 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. In 2013 she was included in the Granta list of 20 best young British writers. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.