Today marks the release of The Wandering Falcon, the fantastic debut from Pakistani author Jamil Ahmad. The Guardian called it “one of the finest collections of short stories to come out of south Asia in decades,” and we have to say that we agree. To celebrate this wonderful new addition to the ever-growing group of amazing authors from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the surrounding areas, we’ve put together a list of ten contemporary South Asian writers you should know, from the already much-lauded to the fresh faced and new on the scene. Click through to see our choices, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite writers in the comments!
The Wandering Falcon is 78-year-old Ahmad’s first book, and it’s pretty wonderful. A retired civil servant and minister in the Pakistani embassy in Kabul, Ahmad started off writing poetry, but switched to fiction when his wife chided him, “Why don’t you write about something you know?” It was then, in the ’70s, that he wrote most of first draft of the book — he only recently returned to the manuscript at his family’s urging, and now 38-odd years later, it is being published. We only hope he has many more stories to share.