How We Get the Job Done: Fatima Farheen Mirza

The novelist explains how she decided to honor an Indian-American family for her debut novel.

Ahmed Ali Akbar

July 19, 2019

How We Get the Job Done: Fatima Farheen Mirza
Fatima Farheen Mirza (Naina Hussain)

Fatima Farheen Mirza’s bestselling debut novel A Place For Us (2018) follows three estranged Indian-American Muslim siblings and their parents, and the events that occur when they are brought together by a wedding. The story flits between perspectives and is told through the eyes of each of the different characters.

Publishers are now translating the novel into eight different languages. Some say Sarah Jessica Parker is Mirza’s biggest fan.

Mirza, who was born in California, wrote her first memoir when she was six and dropped out of a pre-med track at 18 to pursue writing. She sat down with me at her apartment in Brooklyn to talk about focusing on Muslim characters, the nuances of South Asian families, and her advice for young writers.