Kamila Shamsie ’94: Hearing Refugee Story “Felt Like a Gift”
When the BBC asked a panel of writers, curators, and critics to choose “100 genre-busting novels that have had an impact on their lives,” Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie ’94 made the list.
The novel, Shamsie’s seventh, won the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction and was named to the 2017 Man Booker Prize long list, among other honors. It tells the story of an immigrant Pakistani family living in London, two sisters and a brother who is recruited by ISIS. Home Fire appears on the BBC list in the category of “Politics, Power & Protest,” which includes works such as The Color Purple by Alice Walker and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The BBC posted the list of “novels that shaped our world" in November.
At Hamilton, Shamsie majored in creative writing and went on to earn a master’s in fine arts at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her most recent visit to campus was in 2018, for Refugee Solidarity Month, when she spoke to a student organization and read from Home Fire.