Uzma Jalaluddin is a high school teacher in York Region. Her regular column in the Toronto Star, “Samosas and Maple Syrup” reflects on modern Muslim life through humorous stories about families and parenting. She has also been a guest on the TV show, Cityline, speaking on the Muslim experience. Her debut novel, Ayesha At Last, was published in June 2018 and is a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in a Toronto Muslim community.
Photo Credit: Cole Burston
Ayesha At Last
Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century. When a surprise engagement between Khalid and Hafsa is announced, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and his family; and the truth she realizes about herself. Read more…