The Holy Woman
“A lean, lyrical meditation on tradition and independence, sensuality & sacrifice, set against the moral background of modern day Pakistan, Shahraz’s debut beguiles throughout.”
Set in contemporary Pakistan, London and Egypt, this is an epic tale of a modern young Pakistani woman caught between love of a man, her family, and feudal tradition.
Qaisra Shahraz skilfully depicts the rural world of village life in Sindh, the modern world of Karachi, and London and Egypt also playing their parts.She draws the reader into the lives of the characters, bringing the complexities and contrasts of modern Pakistan beautifully to life.
Central to the theme of the story is the role of the Burkha – something the book examines very closely – from its significance to the wearer, and perception of that item of clothing is discussed throughout the book in a beautiful way. The reader comes to gradually understand the many levels of complexity that surround the Burkha, developing a greater understanding of Pakistani and Muslim culture.
The other central theme, and one which transcends all cultures, is that of love; romantic love, love for your parents, and love for the traditions which have grown and shaped the central characters.
‘An international bestseller… an extraordinary story of love and betrayal in rural Pakistan’
Manchester Evening News
‘An absorbing adventure, from a vivid imagination’
‘A stunning debut novel – an intricate study of love, family, politics and sacrifice’
‘Gripping, hugely involving, and very satisfying’
Critical essays on The Holy Woman are available in textbook: The Holy and The Unholy: Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz’s Fiction
To order your print or E-Book copy of The Holy Woman, click the link to your country:
Barnes & Noble (US)
Angus & Robertson (AU)
For international translated editions of Qaisra Shahraz’s books, click on Published Works
- Storytelling and Global Futures – Lancaster University January 14, 2018
- An evening with Qaisra Shahraz – Birmingham Waterstones January 14, 2018
- Qaisra Shahraz at Manchester Literature Festival in Elizabeth Gaskell House October 12, 2017
- Ernest Mach Gymnasium – Hurth, Germany October 12, 2017
- Building Cultural Bridges in Dusseldorf, Germany September 6, 2017
- Qaisra Shahraz at Asia Pacific Writers & Translators – Bali 2017 Book Launch August 30, 2017
- Qaisra Shahraz at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2017 August 30, 2017
- Qaisra Shahraz at Manchester Literature Festival August 30, 2017