By Parvathy Nair '22
This summer’s ND Reads, A Place For Us, was written by our very own Fatima Farheen Mirza, a Notre Dame graduate from 2009. Ms.Mirza joined us on Zoom on Friday the 6th to speak to us and answer questions about her book.
A Place For Us is a beautiful story centered around themes of family, identity and love. Through this book, we learn about the lives of a seemingly ordinary Muslim family, and the personal struggles that each member faces. Hadia, the daughter, is caught between wanting to pursue her own path while also feeling the need to please her family. Amar, the son, battles addiction, heartbreak and hopelessness, causing him to distance himself from his parents and siblings.The book captivated readers, making us wonder how exactly this tight-knit family fell apart, and question if there was hope for reconciliation.
In her talk, Ms.Mirza explained how her experiences as a third-culture child heavily influenced the way the story was written. In fact, many of her own life stories are reflected in the characters of her book, especially Hadia. The author also shared that writing her book was a long and difficult process, and along the eight-year journey she had many moments of uncertainty and doubt.Through her hard work and dedication, however, she was able to create a wonderful and dynamic story for all of her readers. Finally, Ms.Mirza let us know that she hoped we came away from her book with a feeling of love for the family and the experience of watching them grow before our eyes.