Pakistani-American Author Wins 2006 DIY Award

Austin, TX: Since publishing Beyond the Cayenne Wall, a collection of short stories in 2005, Shaila Abdullah has received much recognition and acclaim for her debut work. This month, she was named a winner in the ebook category of the 2006 DIY Book Festival. The award honors independent and self-published book on the cutting-edge of literature. Abdullah's book also received the jury prize for outstanding fiction, the highest award in the 2005 Norumbega Fiction Awards, a notable award in the 2006 Writers Notes Award, and a finalist award in the Best Books 2006 National Book Awards. She also received a grant from the Hobson Foundation for her new novel that focuses on the life of a Muslim widow in the United States.
Abdullah's work has received glowing reviews around the world and she has been featured in Dawn, InSITE, Austin Woman, Austin American Statesman, Mood Indico, KOOP 91.7, and Voice of America. Her profile will run in the upcoming Asian American volume of the Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Literature. The collection of short stories about Pakistani women struggling to find their individualities despite the barriers imposed by society is defined by Midwest Book Review as "a superb read for students of literature, culture and sociology because of its deftly written engagement into the world and life of the alienated foreigner."

Abdullah who immigrated from Pakistan to the United States in 1995 after having an arranged marriage thrives on juggling the various roles in her life as a designer, writer, wife, and mother.

"I write for a multicultural diaspora to raise awareness about women's issues in Pakistan," says Abdullah. "I am humbled by the attention the work has received." Abdullah has been writing for Dallas Child, About Families, Sulekha, Women's Own, Fashion Collection, and other publications since 1993.
Her creative work focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of Pakistani women and their often unconventional choices in life. She is a member of the Texas Writers' League. She may be contacted through her Web site at, by e-mail at, or by phone at 512-924-7674.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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