Qaisra Shahraz

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Qaisra Shahraz is a British-Pakistani novelist and scriptwriter, college inspector, teacher trainer, education consultant and freelance journalist.


Qaisra Shahraz was born in Pakistan and raised in England. She has lived in Manchester since age nine. She has Master's degrees in European literature and Scriptwriting.[1] She worked as an advisor for the University of Lancaster, a college inspector and a journalist. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and former director of Gatehouse Books, publishing books written by students for Skills for Life classes. She has hosted many workshops and trainings on "Quality in Education" in Pakistan and India through the British Council.

Her aspiration to become a writer developed in her early teens. Shahraz says she writes mainly to entertain and explore women’s issues. She writes mainly about Muslim women living in western societies, exploring the challenges and problems they face.[2] A critical analysis of her work appeared in a book entitled, The Holy and the Unholy: Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz’s Fiction (2011).[3]

Qaisra Shahraz has been published in magazines and newspapers including The Times. Originally she concentrated on short stories, but progressed to writing longer and more substantial works. Her novel The Holy Woman, interweaving the lives of the rich and their servants, has been published in multiple countries and languages. She wrote a drama serial Dil he to hay that was telecast in Pakistan Television (PTV) and received two awards.

Her early creation, "A pair of Jeans" was published in the UK in 1988. It explores the issue of clothing, female modesty, multiple identities and cultural clashes. In 1989, it was picked up by a German Professor/Editor, Dr. Liesel Hermes, as a literary text to be used in German schools for the German Abitur examination.[4] She has been active in Cochin for inaugurating the DC international book fair.


A Pair of Jeans has been published twelve times, including eight versions[5] in Germany and has been quoted in many other countries literature.[6]


  • The Holy Woman (2001)
  • Typhoon (2003)
  • Revolt (2013)

Short Stories[edit]


  • A Pair of Jeans[5]
  • Holding Out
  • Black And Priceless
  • What Big Eyes You Have Got
  • Acclaim Magazine
  • No Limits
  • Rabbits English
  • Dragon Fly In The Sun
  • Pakistani Writing in English
  • The Elopement


  • A Pair of Jeans
  • Raabits English (1994) Cornelsen
  • One Language Many Voices (2005–2006) Cornelsen, Diesterweg, Klett, Schönigh, Stark, Reclam etc. Other Short Stories
  • Invitations To Literature (1990)
  • Writing Women – Twentieth Century Short Stories (1991)
  • Emerging India co-authored textbook for literature (2008), Diesterweg


  • Tyfoon (2003) Van Gennep (Dutch).


  • The Holy Woman (2008) Penguin / Yatra Books (Hindi, Urdu & English)
  • Typhoon (2008) Penguin / Yatra Books (Hindi, Urdu & English)
  • And the World Changed – Writing by Pakistani women Writers (2005) Women Unlimited
  • Neither Night nor Day – 13 Stories by Women Writers[7] from Pakistan (2007), Harper Collins.
  • Typhoon – Malayalam edition, Dc books (2011)
  • Jeans- Short story ' A Pair of Jeans' – Malayalam version (2010)


  • Perempuan Suci (2006), Mizan Pustaka
  • Perempuan Terluka (2007) Mizan Pustaka


  • Dragonfly in the Sun (1997) Oxford University Press
  • The Holy Woman (2002), Alhamra (English)
  • And the World Changed – Writing by Pakistani Women Writers (2007) Oxford University Press
  • Pakistani literature & Women Writers of Pakistan (2007)
  • Pakistani Literature in English (2007) Academy of Letters
  • Typhoon (2003), Alhamra (English)
  • Zarri Bano, ( Urdu Version) of The Holy Woman (2013)


  • Kutsal Kadin (2005), Truva
  • Tayfun (2005), Truva

Prizes and awards[edit]

  • 1988 Commonword Prize (New Horizons, New Spheres)[8]
  • 1994 Ian St James Award (Perchavah)
  • 2001 The Holy Woman – Best Book of the Month, Bradford Waterstone's
  • 2002 Asian Women of Achievement Awards (Arts category) (shortlist)
  • 2003 Jubilee Award The Holy Woman
  • 2003 Muslim News Awards for Excellence (Arts category) (shortlist)
  • 2004 Pakistan Television Awards Dil Hee to Hai (The Heart Is It)
  • 2011 The Holy Woman screenplay shortlisted for Muslim Writers Award
  • 2012 Recognised as being one of 100 influential Pakistani women in Pakistan Power 100 List