Oneworld literary crime imprint Point Blank has bagged a Bradford-set gangland novel from journalist Saima Mir.
Publishing director Jenny Parrot acquired UK and Commonwealth rights plus audio for The Khan from Abi Fellows at the Good Agency, to be published in spring 2021.
Its synopsis explains: “Jia Khan, estranged daughter of Akhbar Khan, is infamous amongst her father’s peers. Now a successful London lawyer, she knows her place in the world. But returning home upon her father’s death, Jia is plunged back into her father’s world of shady morality. For The Khan had sat at the heart of the Muslim community and at the helm of organised crime, living by the old, sometimes bloody, ways of justice - and the police have relied on him to maintain the fragile order of the streets in a large Northern town. On his death, a power struggle between various communities has become inevitable. Can Jia take her father’s place, and restore order?”
Parrott said: “This is very exciting. I loved that Jia Khan, the protagonist of Saima’s gripping novel, is a thoroughly modern heroine: strong, flawed, complex and utterly determined. Saima’s nuanced take on patriarchal structures and the role of women within Muslim communities is used to riveting effect, while the story brings to life brilliantly a world few of us will really know.”
Mir added: “I'm thrilled that Point Blank will be publishing The Khan. The novel has been a real labour of love for me. I was keen to introduce readers to the richness of the streets and the warmth of the community that I saw around me growing up, and used as inspiration for the novel. Although none of the characters are based on fact, I wanted to show how vibrant a largely immigrant area can be, and also that when you leave a community, you are a different person when you return.”