Assistant Professor of Fiction Writing
She is the author of four novels, including Trespassing, The Geometry of God, and Thinner than Skin. Trespassing was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize 2003. The Geometry of God was voted one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2009, was a 2009 finalist in Foreword's Book of the Year Awards, and received a bronze medal in the Independent Publishers Book Award 2010. Thinner than Skin was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2012 and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2014. Her novels have been translated extensively worldwide. Her short fiction has appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies, such as Granta, The Massachusetts Review, and And the World Changed.
Khan’s non-fiction has also appeared worldwide, in Counterpunch, Drawbridge, First City, Dawn, among other journals, as well as in the anthology How They See Us: Meditations on America. It covers a wide range of subjects, including women in the arts, ethnic warfare, and US foreign policy.
She has taught in Morocco, Pakistan, and Hawai’i, and joined Hampshire College in the fall of 2012.
This course will appeal to fiction writers with a passion for exploring transitions, both chosen and unchosen, as an engine for beautiful expressions of art. It will also appeal to those with a passion for understanding how movement is controlled, and who controls it. We will look at writers who embrace these themes in many different contexts. For instance, in the context of those who move to escape being profiled for their race, religion, or sexual orientation. Those who are refugees dislocated by wars, colonialism, climate change, and poverty. Those who relocate by choice, say for work or education. The move itself may be from one country to another. It may be from one identity to another, say a religious conversion or a gender expression. It may be from entering a groundbreaking career, or a change in physical ability, or in diet (becoming vegan?). The focus will be on critical reading, as well as on creating your own original works of fiction. While the course is not by instructor permission, to keep up with attendance requirements, students must attend the first day.
Through reading novels and short stories in a range of styles and from a range of places, we will look at how fictional characters shape and are shaped by history. What are the tools writers use to create their characters, and how do we talk about character in historical fiction? Are we looking for a portrayal that in some way complements our understanding of a time and place, one that challenges it, or both? The focus will be on critical reading and writing, as well as on creating your own original works of fiction, for which you will need to do research, all while keeping in mind that you are not writing a text book but a narrative. Fact checking the background of your character(s) by doing some basic homework while at the same time remaining true to your imagining of the story is one of the many challenges this course will embrace. NOTE: Students must attend the first day of class in order to be considered for enrollment.
Our focus will be on recognizing, analyzing, and developing the different narrative techniques used to write the short story. Each technique will be studied individually, as well as in relation to the work as a whole. As David Lodge writes in The Art of Fiction, "Effects in fiction are plural and interconnected, each drawing on and contributing to all the others." We will take apart these "effects" in order to better appreciate how they are linked, both when reading and writing. While the course is open to all (and not by instructor permission), in order to better keep up with course requirements, including attendance, students must attend the first day.
This is an intermediate creative writing course that explores narrative structure. The focus will be on works (mostly fiction, but also non-fiction) that have pushed the boundaries of conventional "girders" by using as building materials visuals, verse, and radical space/time-shifts, all while maintaining a clear cohesive whole. Course requirements will include reading international and national books (which may include novellas and comics); in-class presentations; critical response papers on the readings; original works of creative writing in which you will be expected to explore some of the narrative shapes covered in this course. Students may find the course particularly suited for those with an interest in the long form, as their narratives grow interconnected in some way (perhaps with the creation of one overall piece comprised of individual elements, or chapters). However, our focus will be on generating new work that explores the techniques in this course, both in a historical and contemporary setting. NOTE: Students must attend the first day of class in order to be considered for enrollment.
This tutorial will look at the many dimensions of war, and the effects of individual and regional discord brought about by European and American colonialism. Among the questions we will ask are: How do writers and artists depict the violence of the colonial project on the body? In what ways is the project a form of institutional racism? Whose voices are present, whose are absent, and whose bodies do we name, or even count? Our focus will be on literary representations of war in the US and abroad, though we will also consider visual representations. Students will be evaluated on attendance from the first day of class. Other requirements include: class participation, short response papers, longer essays, and, of course, keeping up with the reading. Authors we read might include Eduardo Galeano, Leslie Marmon Silko, Arundhati Roy, Edward Said, Claudia Rankine, Betool Khedairi, Yasmina Khadra, Joe Sacco, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, among others. Note: This class requires students to examine real conflicts, including those that are ongoing. No fantasy fiction, neither in reading nor writing.