About Me

Short:

Soniah Kamal’s novel, Unmarriageable: Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan, is a Financial Times Readers’ Best Book of 2019, a New York Public Library 2019 Summer Read Pick , a NPR Code Switch 2019 Summer Read Pick and a Georgia Center for the Book’s 2019  ‘Books All  Georgians Should Read. Her debut novel, An Isolated Incident, was a finalist for the Townsend Award for Fiction. Soniah’s TEDx talk is about second chances. Her work is in New York Times, Guardian, Atlantic, and more.   twitter & instagram: @soniahkamal

 

Long: Soniah Kamal is an award winning essayist and fiction writer. Her novel Unmarriageable is a Financial Times Readers Best Book Pick 2019, a New York Public Library Summer 2019 Pick, a BookBub Best Book of 2019 , a 2019 ‘Book All Georgians Should Read’, a finalist for the PHS Reviewers Choice Awards, an Amazon Best Books Pick, a Library Reads Pick, a People Magazine Pick, NPR called it ‘thought provoking and deliciously readable’ and more. Her debut novel An Isolated Incident was a finalist for the Townsend Prize  for Fiction, the KLF French Fiction Prize, and is an Amazon Rising Star pick. Soniah‘s TEDx talk is about regrets and second chances. Her companion essays on food, immigration and miscarriage are in the New York Times and her work is in publications including, The Guardian, Catapult, BuzzfeedThe Normal School, The Missing Slate, Literary Hub, and in critically acclaimed anthologies.  

Soniah’s short story “Fossils”, judged by Claudia Rankine, won the Agnes Scott 2017 Festival Award for Fiction and her story ‘Jelly Beans’ was selected for The Best Asian Stories Series 2017. Her essay ‘The Fall: How to Survive Your Father’s Imprisonment’ was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her short stories and essays have been shortlisted for awards including the Sequestrum Editor’s Reprint Award and the Payton James Freeman Prize and are recommended reads by VELA and Longreads.  Soniah is the recipient of the Susan B. Irene Award from St. Johns College where she graduated with a BA Honors in Liberal Arts. She was awarded a Paul Bowles Fiction Fellowship from Georgia State University where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing.  Soniah is a member of the National Books Critics Circle and PEN America and the Jane Austen Society of North America.

Soniah is a lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) and has served as a Jane Austen Literacy Ambassador for the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. She was the Keynote Speaker at the 2019 Jane Austen Summer Program Conference. Soniah hosted the year long Jane Austen 200th Anniversary Commemoration Book Club for all six novels. Soniah was a panelist on  Creating Jane Austen and Austen’s Creations at the 2017 Decatur Book Festival. Soniah will be delivering Jane Austen’s Birthday Toast and speaking at the 2019 Jane Austen’s Birthday Tea Celebration at JASNA Northern California and she has presented at JASNA Georgia. Soniah is the 2020 keynote speaker at the Jane Austen Festival, the biggest Jane Austen gathering in North America held by JASNA Loisville Kentucky.  Austenprose called Unmarriageable ‘a dream retelling’ and The Daily Vox declared it ‘the perfect Pride and Prejudice retelling’. While Soniah adores Pride and Prejudice, her favorite Austen novel is Mansfield Park and on screen she loves the 1995 BBC  ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Emma Thomson’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and Whit Stillman’s ‘Love and Friendship’ adapted from Lady Susan

Soniah has taught creative writing and global literature at Emory University, Oglethorpe University and is faculty at Reinhardt University. She has served as Writer-in-Residence for the Fulton County Library System and is a mentor at AWP.  Soniah was a script consultant on the social-activist film ‘Half Widow’ set in Kashmir. Hairy Potter is a collection of Soniah’s weekly social satire column that ran in Pakistan’s national newspaper The Daily Times Sunday. ‘ She served as Fiction Assistant Editor for Five Points: A Journal of Arts and Literature and is Blog Editor for Jaggery: A Desilit Arts and Literature Journal where she started and runs the interview series ‘Drunk on Ink’. Soniah curated and edited Sugar Mule Literary Magazine’s South Asian issue ‘No Place Like Home’, a compilation of memoir, poetry and fiction from 47 writers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Soniah was born in Pakistan, grew up in England and Saudi Arabia and lives in the U.S., New Mexico, Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, California and currently in Georgia.

Praise for Unmarriageable

Publishers Weekly Starred Review.

Library Journal Starred Review

Shelf Awareness Starred Review

A 2019 Book All Georgians Should Read

Amazon Best Books Pick

 New York Post Best Book Pick

 Library Reads Pick

 Bustle Anticipated Read

  She Reads Anticipated Read

 NPR  “deliciously readable… Unmarriageable manages to be both a fun, page-turning romp and a thought-provoking look at the class-obsessed strata of Pakistani society.

Star Tribune  “Kamal does in words what Gurinder Chadha did in film with Bride and Prejudice.”

People Magazine  “This inventive retelling of Pride and Prejudice charms.

Atlanta Journal Constitution  “Kamal’s resplendent second novel embraces and builds upon its predecessor in such a fresh way that a new class of “P&P” lovers will likely be born”. 

New York Post  “a thoroughly charming retelling”. 

New York Journal of Books “a witty delight that will leave you wishing for more”

Asian Image  “A Must Read. This sumptuous book is refreshingly relatable to Asian women today.”

Austenprose  “the Pride and Prejudice retelling of my dreams”.

Forbes “Kamal’s story seems to have all the ingredients that make Pride and Prejudice’s re-telling an exciting, dramatic and fun South Asian adaptation complete with big, fat desi weddings, modern Pakistani women, affluent bachelors.”  

For more Praise go to the section on Unmarriageable’s Book Page