City of Spies

City of Spies, by Sorayya Khan - cover image

“This delicate political novel evokes the sights and smells of the Pakistan of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and General Zia. We are inside the head of a child spying on her past. I read CITY OF SPIES as the story of another school-girl in Pakistan, a different Malala. This Malala unmasks a whole new landscape of feeling.”
– Amitava Kumar
Best International Fiction Book Award, Sharjah Book Fair 2015
A Huffington Post 28 New Fiction Books to Add to Your Must-Read List This Fall
A Global Citizen 20 Powerful Books Global Citizens Should Read This Fall
Available September 19, 2017, from Little A, the literary fiction and nonfiction imprint of Amazon Publishing.
Eleven-year-old Aliya Shah lives a double life in Islamabad, Pakistan–at home with her Pakistani father and Dutch mother, and at the American School, where Aliya tries to downplay that she is a “half-and-half.”  But when a hit-and-run driver kills the son of the family’s servant, Sadiq, who is also Aliya’s dear friend, her world is turned upside down.  After she discovers the truth behind the tragedy–a terrible secret that burdens her heart–her conflicted loyalties are tested as never before.

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Praise

“Through the eyes of a young girl, CITY OF SPIES brings to vivid life a crucial episode in the history of the United States and Pakistan, at the moment of the Iran hostage crisis. The tensions and confusions of that time are intensely relevant today. Sorayya Khan’s rich and compelling novel is a gem.”
Claire Messud
“CITY OF SPIES reminds readers that children bear witness to, and the weight of, the history unfolding around them.”
Booklist
“Khan writes with lovely elegance… the novel is a moving success and necessary at a time when many of the same concerns have come to dominate our national (and international) consciousness.”
Kirkus Reviews
“In her story, the city may be full of spies, and prone to making mistakes, but they are also capable of forgiveness and surprising humanity.”
Biblio
“The author, whose previous books also incisively and empathically deal with Pakistan at other crucial times of its life, spins the same magic…”
Business Standard
“On turning the last page, one cannot help but feel that Khan should be commended for structuring a work of fiction that both furthers the overall development of Pakistani fiction and joins the ranks of entertaining and well-written modern novels.”
Dawn
“It is a coming-of-age novel. But it isn’t just that.”
Newsline
“The novel is a gripping, coming-of-age story that explores and delves into Aliya’s conflicting loyalties and her ongoing struggle to make sense of her world.”
Mail Today
“The Islamabad of Aliya’s childhood–and the writer’s–is so remote that the only way to keep it alive is by writing about it.”
Financial Express