Naqvi, Maniza 1960-

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Naqvi, Maniza 1960-


Born 1960, in Lahore, Pakistan.


Home—Washington, DC.




Mass Transit (novel), Oxford University Press (Karachi, Pakistan), 1998.

On Air (novel), Oxford University Press (Karachi, Pakistan), 2000.

Stay with Me (novel), Tara Press (New Delhi, India), 2004.

Work represented in anthologies, including a short story and a play in Shattering Stereotypes, 2005; and a short story in And the World Changed, Oxford University Press (Karachi, Pakistan), 2005.


Maniza Naqvi's first novel, Mass Transit, is set in Karachi, Pakistan, and follows the lives of three families living under one roof—immigrants who struggle but fail to assimilate. World Literature in Review contributor Fawzia Afzal-Khan observed that "Mass Transit is largely plotless, driven more by its own dynamic of autocritique than by any novelistic action…. Although Safina's is the central consciousness of the narrative, the tale is also criss-crossed, in very postmodern fashion, by the clashing points of view of various other characters …. This curious mélange of narrative points of view both unsettles the reader because of the erratic suddenness of the shifts and, paradoxically, also helps ‘ground’ the reader in the writer's sensibility, which is precisely that of an outsider looking in as well as of a native ‘informant’ looking out." Afzal-Khan called Mass Transit "very promising indeed."

Naqvi's second novel, On Air, was dubbed "a tale with great imagination and a novel premise" by Michelle Reale in her review for the South Asian Women's NETwork (sometimes called Sawnet). The novel's central character, Naz Ahmed, fills in one night on a call-in radio show in Lahore. "While ostensibly offering solace and conversation to the nocturnal listeners," Reale observed, "she ponders and explicates the meaning of her past, present and future." Warning readers not to expect a straightforward narrative, Reale explained: "Naz Ahmed's stories are not linear, but rather recursive, and often imagined to herself in a ‘voice’ that is not always her own. Naqvi often places Naz outside of herself as a distant, objective observer. At some point the telling of the tales and the authenticity of memory blur, giving the reader pause: when is Naz telling the truth?" Reale recommended the novel "for anyone interested in what lies below the exterior of modern life, and those that enjoy reading the story of a woman willing to learn."

Naqvi informed CA that her third novel, Stay with Me "is set in the context of a secret incarceration, interrogation, and torture. The novel explores imagination and memory, and the strength of love."

In a biography for Sawnet, Naqvi wrote: "As a writer, I'm particularly interested in the reassembling of memory into visions, then deconstructing it into a story, then reconstructing it and mapping it differently as imagination. It's my evidence that time exists."



World Literature Today, fall, 1999, Fawzia Afzal-Khan, review of Mass Transit, pp. 827-828.


South Asian Women's NETwork, (June 5, 2007), Michelle Reale, review of On Air.