Headline Publishing Group has acquired broadcaster Aasmah Mir's memoir, Voices, an "emotional and thought-provoking narrative on what it is like to live in two very different cultures whilst all the time aware of racism, prejudice and stereotyping of gender from the 1960s onwards".
Voices will tell two stories in unison; the story of Mir's upbringing in Glasgow – the place of her birth – and the upbringing of her mother in Pakistan a generation before. The memoir will capture the essence of life as a Pakistani in Glasgow and bring vividly to life the one character who shaped her childhood – her mother – who gave her the confidence to seize life and find her voice, says the publisher.
World rights were acquired by Iain MacGregor, publisher for non-fiction, from Nick Canham at the Vivienne Clore Agency.
MacGregor said: "I am fascinated as to the journey many second-generation Britons have travelled from the familial bonds of their parents countries to establishing a life and identity for themselves in the United Kingdom. To sit down and listen as Aasmah recounts some of the emotionally fraught incidents while growing up in Glasgow as a young Pakistani girl, to becoming the confident and informative broadcaster she is today is what I want readers to take from her forthcoming memoir. It will hopefully be seen as a mirror on where our society, race and gender relations are in modern Britain."
Mir commented: "Do you know what it’s like to lose your voice? As the child of Pakistani immigrants to the UK, growing up in the 1970s and 1980s was never going to be a walk in the park. I desperately wanted to be the same as everyone else but wasn’t. And I was always confused by how my mother was so confident and sure of herself in the face of occasional hostility – while I was almost destroyed by it. It’s only when I realised that she had grown up in a country where she was not different to everyone else – that I understood why she was so very sure of herself. But then I dug a bit more into her comfortable middle-class head-girl upbringing and found a swirl of family secrets that explains so much about her character and made me reassess my own difficult formative years. I cannot wait to bring to life all the characters from my childhood in Glasgow and my mother's in Pakistan on the pages of this book."
Voices will be published in spring 2023.