Home Fire

In Kamila Shamsie's novel, three siblings pursue their wildly different, and dangerous, dreams.

Kamila Shamsie

Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother's death, she's accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can't stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who's disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma's worst fears are confirmed.

Then Eamonn enters the sisters' lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up to — or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz's salvation? Suddenly, two families' fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined, in this searing novel that asks: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love? (From Riverhead Books)

Home Fire is on the longlist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize.

Excerpt | More about this author

From the book

Isma was going to miss her flight. The ticket wouldn't be refunded, because the airline took no responsibility for passengers who arrived at the airport three hours ahead of the departure time and were escorted to an interrogation room. She had expected the interrogation, but not the hours of waiting that would precede it, nor that it would feel so humiliating to have the contents of her suitcase inspected. She'd made sure not to pack anything that would invite comment or questions — no Quran, no family pictures, no books on her area of academic interest — but even so, the officer took hold of every item of Isma's clothing and ran it between her thumb and fingers, not so much searching for hidden pockets as judging teh quality of the material. Finally she reached for the designer-label down jacket Isma had folded over a chair back when she entered, and held it up, one hand pinching each shoulder.


From Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie ©2017. Published by Riverhead Books.

More about this author

This week Kamila Shamsie. Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan she now lives in London. Last year she was named one of Granta Magazine's Best Young Novelists. 52:46