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UPCOMING: Jane Austen & Company Hosts Austen-Adjacent Writer Uzma Jalaluddin


Hello, dear readers! Are you ready for the next event in Jane Austen & Company’s Many Flavors of Jane Austen series? Join us at 7:00 PM (EST) on January 24 for a live conversation with bestselling novelist and playwright Uzma Jalaluddin. Uzma’s Austen-adjacent novels include the Persuasion-inspired Much Ado About Nada (2023) and the Pride and Prejudice-inspired Ayesha at Last (2019), both following Muslim-Canadian heroines as they navigate the waters of love and life in the twenty-first century. Check it out!


 

Much Ado About Nada


Nada Syed is stuck. On the cusp of thirty, she’s still living at home with her brothers and parents in the Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto, resolutely ignoring her mother’s unsubtle pleas to get married already. While Nada has a good job as an engineer, it’s a far cry from realizing the start-up dreams for her tech baby, Ask Apa, the app that launched with a whimper instead of a bang because of a double-crossing business partner. Nothing in her life has turned out the way it was supposed to, and Nada feels like a failure. Something needs to change, but the past is holding on too tightly to let her move forward.


Nada’s best friend, Haleema, is determined to pry her from her shell . . . and what better place than at the giant annual Muslim conference downtown, where Nada can finally meet Haleema’s fiancé, Zayn? And did Haleema mention Zayn’s brother Baz will be there?


What Haleema doesn’t know is that Nada and Baz have a past—some of it good, some of it bad, and all of it secret. At the conference, that past all comes hurtling back at Nada, bringing new complications and a moment of reckoning. Can she truly say goodbye to what once was, or should she hold tight to her dreams and find their new beginnings?



Ayesha at Last


Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental.


When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.





Between Much Ado About Nada, Ayesha at Last, and Uzma’s non-Austen-adjacent novels (which are just as fun!), you'll have plenty of reading material to tide you over until January 24. In the meantime, don’t forget to register for the event to receive your exclusive access link via email. We can’t wait to see you there!


 

Uzma Jalaluddin is a critically acclaimed and bestselling novelist, playwright, and teacher. She writes nuanced and entertaining stories about Muslims, South Asians, and Canadians and is the author of Much Ado About Nada (2023), Three Holidays and a Wedding (2023), Hana Khan Carries On (2021), Ayesha at Last (2019), and her first play, The Rishta (2023). Ayesha at Last was a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, Cosmopolitan UK Book of the Year, and Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2019. Hana Khan Carries On was recognized as a Best Romance Novel by the Washington Post and is currently in development for film by Amazon Studios and Mindy Kaling. Uzma is a former contributor to The Toronto Star and has written for The Atlantic. She lives near Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two sons, where she also teaches high school. Find more at uzmajalaluddin.com and follow Uzma on twitter @UzmaWrites or Instagram @UzmaJalaluddin.

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