Hafsa Zayyan

We Are All Birds of Uganda
  • We Are All Birds of Uganda

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    'A remarkably accomplished, polished debut.' Malorie Blackman

    'You can't stop birds from flying, can you, Sameer? They go where they will...'

    1960s UGANDA
    . Hasan is struggling to run his family business following the sudden death of his wife. Just as he begins to see a way forward, a new regime seizes power, and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built.

    Present-day LONDON. Sameer, a young high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a past he never knew.
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    Moving between two continents over a troubled century, We Are All Birds of Uganda is an immensely resonant novel that explores racial tensions, generational divides and what it means to belong.

    It is the first work of fiction by Hafsa Zayyan, co-winner of the inaugural #Merky Books New Writers' Prize, and one of the most exciting young novelists of today.
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    As featured in the Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Observer
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    Readers have been entranced by We Are All Birds of Uganda:

    'I connected with this book immediately ... Racism, generational culture, love and family ties are all key components of this novel by a really accomplished debut author who I feel sure we are going to hear a lot more from.'

    'I can't find the words to describe how much I adored every, single, beautiful word of this totally amazing story. If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would.'

    'This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and the writing is exceptional. A truly remarkable debut novel that I will shout about from the rooftops.'

    'What an amazing book. Sensitively written, it covers so many issues. Family, religion, racism, bullying, loyalty.
    Eloquent writing made me feel completely part of the story ... An absolute gem of a book.'

    'Zayyan intricately weaves the often forgotten story of South Asian migrants in Uganda, through past and present. Meticulously crafted, beautifully and thoughtfully written, with complex characters, this was an absolute pleasure to read.'

    'A beautifully written story with themes of race and emigration. This is an extremely accomplished and readable story.'

Hafsa Zayyan is a writer and dispute resolution lawyer based in London. She won the inaugural #Merky Books New Writers' Prize in 2019. We Are All Birds of Uganda is her debut novel, inspired by the mixed background from which she hails. She studied Law at the University of Cambridge and holds a masters' degree from the University of Oxford.


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