The Next Chapter·Dog-Eared Reads

Why Uzma Jalaluddin believes Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice never goes out of style

The author of Ayesha at Last shares why she likes rereading the classic book.
Uzma Jalaluddin is the author of Ayesha At Last. (Cole Burston/Pan Macmillan)

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.

Jalaluddin is obviously a big Pride and Prejudice fan and told The Next Chapter why she still reads the classic on a regular basis. 

"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.