Why Uzma Jalaluddin believes Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice never goes out of style
Uzma Jalaluddin is a teacher, parenting columnist and author based in Ontario. Set in a tight-knit Muslim community in Toronto, Jalaluddin's debut novel Ayesha at Last is a love story in the vein of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
"The book I go back to very often is, not surprisingly, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. When I was writing my debut novel, which is a revamped Pride and Prejudice, I went back to the source material many times. One of the things I've always loved about Jane Austen's work in particular is the way that — as a modern-day Canadian Muslim and South Asian woman — I could relate to something that was written by a white woman in Britain 200 years ago. She deals with universal themes of love and longing.
"The thing I enjoy most about her books is they talk about everyday life. This isn't some Shakespearean tragedy where you have a tragic hero and a tragic fall because of a tragic flaw. This is about regular people living their daily life. As a writer I've always been interested in the minutiae of what makes a person's life — and the decisions that they make that challenge them."
Uzma Jalaluddin's comments have been edited and condensed for clarity.