Qaisra Shahraz

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Qaisra Shahraz is a British-Pakistani novelist, scriptwriter, college inspector, teacher trainer, education consultant and freelance journalist. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a former director of Gatehouse Books, publishing books written by students for Skills for Life classes. She has hosted many workshops and training sessions on "Quality in Education" in Pakistan and India through the British Council. Her work is mostly focused on the diversity of mankind exploring aspects of racial, gender, and cultural divides. In 2016 she won the Lifetime Achiever Award at the National Diversity Awards held at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.[1]

Early life[edit]

Qaisra Shahraz was born in Pakistan in 1958 and raised in England. She has lived in Manchester since age nine. She has master's degrees in European literature and screenwriting.[2] She worked as an advisor for the University of Lancaster, as well as a college inspector and a journalist.


Shahraz says she writes mainly to entertain and to explore women’s issues. She writes mainly about Muslim women living in western societies.[3] A critical analysis of her work appeared in The Holy and the Unholy: Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz’s Fiction (2011).[4]

Qaisra Shahraz has been published in magazines and newspapers including The Times. Originally she concentrated on short stories, but progressed to writing longer works. Her novel The Holy Woman was published in multiple countries and languages. She wrote a drama serial Dil he to hay that reached 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 by a German Professor/Editor, Dr. Liesel Hermes, as a literary text to be used in German schools for the German Abitur examination.[5] She has been active in Cochin for inaugurating the DC international book fair.


"A Pair of Jeans" has been published twelve times, including eight[6] in Germany and was featured in the local literary scenes of many other countries.[7]


  • The Holy Woman (2002)
  • Typhoon (2007)
  • Revolt (2013)

Short stories[edit]


  • "A Pair of Jeans"[6]
  • "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[8] 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


  • 1988 Commonword Prize (New Horizons, New Spheres)[9]
  • 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
  • 2016 National Diversity Awards: Lifetime Achiever Awards (Won)[1]

See also[edit]

List of British Pakistanis


  1. ^ a b "2016 Winners | National Diversity Awards". Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  2. ^ Qaisra Shahraz.
  3. ^ Indonesians in Focus: Qaisra Shahraz – Indonesian News – Indonesia, Indonesian News, Literature. Planet Mole (4 February 2008).
  4. ^ "The Holy and The Unholy:Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz's Fiction by Abdur Raheem Kidwai | 2940015302226 | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble". Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  5. ^ The Feminist Press Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. The Feminist Press.
  6. ^ a b (in German) A Pair of Jeans – ZUM-Wiki.
  7. ^ texts Archived 23 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ The Feminist Press Archived 9 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine. The Feminist Press.
  9. ^ Qaisra Shahraz | British Council Literature Archived 8 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine