H. M. Naqvi
|Born||Husain M. Naqvi
|Notable work(s)||Home Boy|
H.M. Naqvi was born in 1974 and spent his childhood between Karachi, Islamabad, Algiers and New York. The eldest of three brothers, he spoke Urdu and English at home and began writing at age six. At age six he attended Froebel's elementary school in Islamabad. He later also attended P.S. 6 for two years in New York.
After graduating from Georgetown University (1996) with degrees in economics and English literature, he wrote short stories while subsisting on a "two dollar budget". He also ran the only slam poetry venue in Washington D.C., the Fifteen Minutes Club. He represented Pakistan in the National Poetry Slam in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1995. His poems were broadcast on NPR and BBC.
In 1997 he joined the World Bank and spent the next eight years working in the financial services industry on the East Coast and in Karachi. When he quit in 2003, he left for Cambridge, Massachusetts where sat in classes at Harvard's English department, pretending to be a student, including James Wood's survey of postwar fiction and Elvis Mitchell’s class on contemporary film.
Subsequently, he attended the creative writing program at Boston University where he worked with National Book Award recipient Ha Jin. While working on his novel, he taught writing at Boston University. He wrote till six in the morning and taught in the afternoons and evenings.
Naqvi moved to Karachi in 2007. He has since worked in his hometown on reportage and his next novel. In 2010, he was a resident participant in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
H. M. Naqvi’s debut novel Home Boy was first published in the United States in September 2009 by the Crown Books division of Random House to acclaim. The New York Times hailed it as "smart…debut [that] is at once immigrant narrative, bildungsroman and New York City novel, with a dash of the picaresque…Naqvi is a former slam poet, and his exuberant sentences burst with the rhythms and driving power of that form while steering clear of bombast. "Home Boy" is a remarkably engaging novel that delights as it disturbs.". On his American tour, he returned to slam roots for a performance at the Nuyorican Poets Club. He also read at Harvard University, the Tenement Museum, the Brooklyn Book Festival and the Asia Society.
When Home Boy was published in India in January 2010 by HarperCollins, it hit the top ten fiction bestseller list. According to the Indian Express, the novel is "culturally au courant and with an eye for the absurd — a cross between early Jay McInerney and Gary Shteyngart, with subcontinental seasoning. It incorporates underground music, fashion and intoxication-producing substances as well as...Faiz Ahmed Faiz and home-cooked seekh kebab and biryani." In January 2010 he attended the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Home Boy has been very well received in Naqvi’s native Pakistan. He has read the The Second Floor [T2F], Khas Gallery, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology [SZABIST] and at the Indus Valley School of Arts. He was also in discussion with London-based Pakistani artist Faiza Butt at Art Dubai. The German, Italian and Portuguese editions of the book were published in 2010.
- Ora Mary Phelam Poetry Prize
- DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for Home Boy - Winner (2011)
- Siganporia, Shahnaz; Platform Magazine (Oct. 2009), "An Elegy on a Cocktail Napkin,"
- Dawood, T.U.; Libas (Vol 22, 2009 Issue, 3), "Home Truths"
- Global Post archive
- Naqvi, H. M., Forbes (Sept. 9, 2009), "Rocking Karachi"
- Salvatore, Joseph; New York Times (Nov. 5, 2009), "Fiction Chronicle"
- New Kerala Fiction and Nonfiction Bestseller List (Feb. 2009)
- Sipahimalani, Sanjay; Indian Express (Jan. 2010), "NYC’s Metrostani"
- Krich, John, Wall Street Journal (Feb. 26, 2010), "One for the Books"
- Author website biography. http://hmnaqvi.com/about_author.html
- BBC News (December 15, 2010), "H M Naqvi eyes debut novel success"
- Author website
- H.M. Naqvi's US publisher
- H.M. Naqvi's South Asian publisher
- CounterPunch on Home Boy
- Pakistan’s News reviews Home Boy
- Review in Daily News and Analysis