The Writing on My Forehead: A Novel

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A free-spirited and rebellious Muslim-American of Indo-Pakistani descent, willful, intelligent Saira Qader rejected the constricting notions of family, duty, obligation, and fate, choosing instead to become a journalist, making the world her home.

But when tragedy strikes, throwing Saira's life into turmoil, the woman who circled the globe to uncover the details of other lives must confront the truths of her own. In need of understanding, she looks to the stories of those who came before—her grandparents, a beloved aunt, her mother and father. As Saira discovers the hope, pain, joy, and passion that defined their lives, she begins to face what she never wanted to admit: that choice is not always our own, and that faith is not merely an intellectual preference.


"A moving meditation on the meaning of family, tradition, and the ties that bind." ~ Khaled Hosseini

"The struggles of second-generation immigrants are well presented, calling to mind novels like Monica Ali’s Brick Lane. In addition, the climax is powerful and satisfying, as Saira belatedly comes to recognize the inescapable tug of family. Recommended for all libraries." ~ Library Journal

About the author

An American of Indo-Pakistani descent, Nafisa Haji was born and raised in Los Angeles and now lives in northern California with her husband and son. She is working on her second novel.

Published: 2009
Pages: 308
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harper Perennial