Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009
Over the years, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have fostered a significant number of writers. Recently, Uzma Aslam Khan '91 released her third novel titled "The Geometry of God" and the freshly-published book has received a wave of good reviews. A review in Dawn says, "Khan undoubtedly breaks the mould. She carves a sublime story of new and old with contemporary panache, in which people are real and their fears are prevalent and believable."
"The Geometry of God" tells the story of Zahoor, a paleontologist, trying to do his research while General Zia is launching a campaign to Islamize knowledge. Zahoor's granddaughter, Amal, finds proof of the ‘dog-whale' which is the oldest known primitive whale, but tragedy strikes as Mehwish, Amal's sister, goes blind. Noman is a young neurotic, aspiring mathematician who is forced to search for the "straight path," but every step taken on the straight path leads to the discovery of a branch to a different path.
In his struggle to find truth, Noman meets Zahoor and begins a relationship with the paleontologist and paleontologist's family. The characters' lives and relationships unfold despite General Zia's Pakistan, where religious fundamentalism gains ground and all knowledge is converted to Islamic standards. Through these brilliant characters; the complexities of familial and love, the conflict between curiosity and duty, the barrier dividing faith and longing are all revealed.
She has taught English language and literature in the United States, Morocco and Pakistan. From 1998-2008 she lived in Lahore; she currently teaches at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Khan's novel "The Story of Noble Rot," was first novel published in India to great acclaim. She is also the author of "Trespassing," published in 2004. A story about a Pakistani boy who came home from an American university for his father's funeral but struggles to adapt back to his old way of life, "Trespassing" was nominated for the 2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize and has been translated into 13 languages.
"The Geometry of God," was released in India this January and will be released in several European countries later this year. Khan is distinguished as the visiting writer at the University of Hawai'i Manoa for the fall of 2008.
While at HWS, Khan majored in comparative literature and minored in French. She was member of Phi Beta Kappa, earned high honors in comparative literature and was awarded the White Essay Prize.