Pakistani writer and actor Mira Sethi has sold her debut collection of short stories to publishing giants Knopf and Bloomsbury. The book is expected to be published in 2018 in the US, UK and India. Mira’s addition to the respective Knopf and Bloomsbury families marks a thrilling new addition to Pakistan’s global literary voice and identity.
At Knopf, Mira joins an impressive list of authors such as Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, and Jhumpa Lahiri. Bloomsbury is home to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as well as Khaled Hosseini’s fiction.
A former books editor at the Wall Street Journal, Mira has contributed reporting and feature articles to esteemed publications like The New York Times and The Caravan for several years. “When my agent sent out my manuscript, I was praying the editors at Knopf would glance at it,” said Sethi. “To think that Knopf — whose writers I have read and obsessed about since I was a teenager — is now my publisher is a dizzying dream-come-true. Ditto with Bloomsbury, who publish some of the best women’s writing in the world. I am just so thrilled.”
“Her debut book is a brilliant work that looks at life in Pakistan in a deeply human way with humour, intimacy, compassion, and verisimilitude,” said Sethi’s editors at Knopf. “Mira’s stories upend traditional notions of identity and family in South Asia through deeply realized portraits of characters one comes to know and to care for.”
“I have been following Mira’s reporting for several years,” said Knopf Chairman Sonny Mehta, who acquired the book jointly with Editorial Director Robin Desser, “and was thrilled to make her acquaintance on the page as short story writer. Mira’s work is accomplished beyond measure, and I am confident her fiction will be celebrated around the world.” Desser echoed Mehta’s sentiments. “I haven’t seen a debut this assured in many years,” she said, “Mira is a writer who brings us the news even as she gives us larger, universal truth. We are clearly at the beginning of an important literary career.”
“We are so very excited to be publishing Mira Sethi’s fresh and distinctive voice in this sometimes darkly humorous and always tender collection of stories.” said Sethi’s editors at Bloomsbury, Faiza S Khan and Alexandra Pringle.