Kia Abdullah

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Kia Abdullah
Abdullah in July 2009
Native name শহীদা নেসসা রহমান
Born (1982-05-17) 17 May 1982 (age 33)
Tower Hamlets, London, England
Occupation Novelist, writer, columnist
Language English
Nationality British
Ethnicity Bengali
Education BSc Computer science
Alma mater Queen Mary University of London
Years active 2006–present
Partner Peter Watson

Kia Abdullah (born 17 May 1982) is an English novelist, writer and columnist. She has written two novels: Life, Love and Assimilation (Adlibbed, 2006)[1] and Child's Play (Revenge Ink, 2009).[2] She contributed to The Guardian blog Comment is Free from 2008 to 2010[3] and has also worked with the BBC.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Abdullah was born and brought up in the London borough of Tower Hamlets in a family of eight children.[5] She is of Bangladeshi descent; her parents moved to Britain from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh during the 1970s. Abdullah graduated from Queen Mary, University of London with a first class BSc in computer science. Abdullah has an IQ of 150.[6] She was a member of Mensa International, a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile of IQ, but left within a year of joining, stating: "Basically, you get a poorly designed magazine once a month and an invitation to go and mix with other Mensa members. I wasn't really excited by the prospect of either so cancelled my membership."[7]


In 2006, Abdullah wrote her first novel "Life, Love and Assimilation."[8] The novel debuted in 2006 among praise and controversy in equal measures. It drew comparisons with Monica Ali's Brick Lane,[9] but was also criticised by the Bangladeshi community, including members of Abdullah's own family, due to its unabashed description of drugs and sex in Tower Hamlets.[5]

In 2007, Abdullah was offered a position at Asian Woman magazine, a glossy lifestyle title aimed at women from the South Asian community. After a year there, Abdullah left to write her second novel "Child's Play," a psychological crime thriller published in December 2009. Unlike Abdullah's first novel, her second enjoyed a warm reception from the community despite also including several scenes of a sexual nature.[5] Subsequent to publishing Child's Play, Abdullah was offered and accepted a role as columnist for Asiana magazine. In addition to writing for the magazine, Abdullah wrote on a range of topics from politics to relationships for the Guardian newspaper.[3]

Abdullah has interviewed a range of prominent Asian actors and musicians including Jay Sean, Meera Syal, Nitin Sawhney and Anoushka Shankar. She is an occasional guest on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show as well as BBC Asian Network's DJ Nihal show. Abdullah mentors students in Tower Hamlets and is currently working on her third novel.[5]

On 1 July 2011, Abdullah attracted widespread criticism when she tweeted that she did not feel sympathy over the news of the deaths of three British students who had died in a bus accident whilst on a gap year in Thailand. In a second tweet she added that she smiled when she read that they had double-barrelled names.[10] She later deleted the tweets and apologized.[11]


Year Title Publisher ISBN
2006 Life, Love and Assimilation Adlibbed Ltd ISBN 978-1-8973-1200-1
2009 Child's Play Revenge Ink ISBN 978-0-9558-0785-5


  1. ^ "Life, Love and Assimilation". 17 May 2006. Retrieved 11 May 2006. 
  2. ^ "Child's Play". 4 December 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Kia Abdullah". The Guardian. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Kia Abdullah at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ a b c d "Kia Abdullah". Retrieved 2 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "A Smart Move". The Guardian. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Blog post". Life, Love and Assimilation. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Abdullah, Kia (17 May 2006). Life, Love and Assimilation. Adlibbed Ltd. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-897312-00-1. 
  9. ^ "Launch of Vaani". Vaani. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Heaven, Will (1 July 2011). "Meet the Guardian contributor who 'actually smiled' when three gap year travellers were killed". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Evans, Martin (1 July 2011). "Writer Kia Abdullah mocks death of gap year students on Twitter". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 

External links[edit]