Shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live! Best Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2019
‘The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali brilliantly excavates a forgotten past of several societies and honours its human complexity with a narrative of delicate precision. As affecting as it is intellectually powerful, the novel is a master lesson in the art of historical fiction.’ Pankaj Mishra Nomi and Zee are Local Borns—their father a convict condemned by the British to the Andaman Islands, their mother shipped off with him. When war descends upon this overlooked outpost of Empire and the Japanese move in, Zee is forced to flee, leaving Nomi and the other islanders to contend with a new malice. The islands of surreal beauty and the seas surrounding them become a battlefield, resulting in tragedy for some and a brittle kind of freedom for others, including for Prisoner 218 D, who wages a war with only her body and her memory.
Ambitiously imagined and hauntingly brought to life, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali writes into being the interwoven stories of people caught in the vortex of history, powerless yet with powers of their own: of bravery and wonder, empathy and endurance. Uzma Aslam Khan’s extraordinary new novel is an unflinching and lyrical page-turner, an epic telling of a largely forgotten chapter in the history of the subcontinent.