Roopa Farooki

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Roopa Farooki
Born 1974
Lahore, Pakistan
Residence London, England
Nationality British
Education Philosophy, politics and economics
Alma mater New College, Oxford
Occupation Writer
Notable work Bitter Sweets
Corner Shop
The Way Things Look to Me
Half Life
The Flying Man
The Good Children
Parent(s) Nasim Ahmed Farooki[1]
Nilofar Farooki[1]

Roopa Farooki is a British novelist. Born in Lahore, Pakistan,[2][3] to a Pakistani father and Bangladeshi mother in 1974, they moved to London[3] when she was seven months old. Roopa studied PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) at New College, Oxford University,[3] worked in Corporate Finance (at Arthur Andersen) and then as an Advertising Account Director (at Saatchi & Saatchi and JWT),[3] before she turned to writing fiction full-time.


She wrote her first novel, Bitter Sweets, while pregnant with her first child, and renovating a house in SW France. Bitter Sweets was first published in the UK in 2007, and shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers that year.[2] She published her second novel, Corner Shop, in 2008. Her third novel, The Way Things Look To Me, was published in 2009, and was voted one of The Times Top 50 Paperbacks of 2009, long-listed for the Orange Prize 2010,[2] and has been long-listed for the Impac Dublin Literary Award 2011. Her fourth novel, Half Life, was published in 2010, and was selected by Entertainment Weekly (US) as No. 2 on their list of "Eighteen Books We Can't Wait to Read This Summer"; it was also nominated for the International Muslim Writers Awards 2011. Her fifth novel, The Flying Man was published in January 2012 in the UK, and has been longlisted for the Orange Prize 2012. Her sixth novel, "The Good Children" was named by the Daily Mail as "the outstanding novel of the year" in the newspaper's 2014 books of the year round-up.

Farooki's novels have been published in English internationally (in the US and Canada, UK, Australia, India, Singapore) and in translation in a dozen languages across Europe.

Personal life[edit]

Roopa Farooki is the daughter of the late Nasir Ahmad Farooki, a Pakistani novelist and a prominent figure in Pakistani literary circles in the 1960s.[1] Roopa's father abandoned her when she was 13, later marrying a Chinese American. Her mother, Nilofar, later had a long term relationship with an English-Iraqi of Jewish descent. Despite being of both Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent, she speaks only English because her parents were keen on assimilating into London and spoke to her in only English.[4]

Farooki cites her father as an inspiration, and has written frankly about her relationship with her father and his influence on her work in the UK national press.[5] She has also written about her experiences of eczema, relationship counselling, and fertility treatment. Her recent novels have featured characters with Asperger's Syndrome, and Bipolar Disorder.

She currently lives in southwest France and southeast England with her Anglo-Irish husband, two sons, and twin daughters,[3] and teaches creative writing. She has been a lecturer on the Masters programme in Prose Fiction at Canterbury Christchurch University and an undergraduate lecturer at the University of Kent in England. She currently teaches on the Masters programme at the University of Oxford. She is also the Ambassador for the UK relationship counselling charity, Relate.[6]


Farooki's novels have been critically well received, and she has been compared to other British female novelists, Andrea Levy, Zadie Smith[2] and Monica Ali. In an interview with the Metro in 2010, headlined, "Nationality is Not The Issue", she said she was flattered by the comparisons, but said that a key difference was that she had made a deliberate decision not to focus on cultural clash in her novels, and to write universal stories.


  1. ^ a b c Hasan, Khalid. "Remembering Nasir Ahmed Farooki". Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Heminsley, Alexandra (25 April 2010). "Half Life, By Roopa Farooki". The Independent. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Farooki, Roopa. "About Roopa Farooki UK". Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Roopa Farooki: I didn't eat or sleep while writing new novel Half Life". Associated Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Farooki, Roopa (28 July 2007). "This charming man". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 21 June 2011. 

External links[edit]