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British Asian Author Takes On Rape And Upholding Family Honour

Anokhi DIY Anokhi Today Breaking News & Sports World Jun 16, 2016

Lawyer and author Abda Khan will tell you she has no professional training as a writer, but real life experience proved more than enough preparation for her debut novel, Stained.

The novel, set in British Asian society, speaks openly about rape and the under-reporting of abuse in the community for fear of besmirching “family honour.”

While the book centres on the struggles of a British-born Pakistani woman, Khan says the themes and issues are equally true for other South Asian cultures.

Front and back cover

Having grown up in a conservative immigrant area of inner-city Bradford, England, Khan said in an interview that she was very aware of cases similar to the one she describes in Stained. In some instances, the women themselves refused to report the crime, and in others, pressure from family members made sure they remained silent. While Stained is a work of fiction, Khan drew on these personal observations to develop her rich characters and varied plot lines.

Given the culture of secrecy surrounding the topic of rape and abuse, it’s no wonder Khan found no representation for the problems facing British Asian women specifically on the average bookstore shelf. The lack of female British Asian voices telling their own stories and sharing their own struggles spurred her on to write her novel.

Going against the grain of patriarchy and traditional society will likely lead to some resistance, but Khan’s conviction to speak up for forcibly silenced people helped her overcome any fears of a backlash.

Lawyer and Author Abda Khan
Photo Credit:

Former BBC journalist, author and Member of the British Parliament Julian Knight said, “Stained examines the pressures of cultural taboos and sensitivities faced by women in society, and how they affect their life profoundly. Ultimately, it explores human endurance in the face of extreme adversity, and the extent to which, eventually, one is left with nothing but hope. The plot and characters draw the reader in from the very first page. Abda Khan has skilfully produced a novel that is both compelling and thought-provoking. A thoroughly captivating book.”

Initial reviews like Knight's praise Khan for her simple style, eloquence and honest storytelling. Her authenticity and down-to-earth approach to a compelling and emotional story are brave and refreshing.

Stained is being called a "vitally important novel for the British Asian community.” The book will be available on shelves in October 2016.

Main Image Photo Credit:

Dilshad Burman

Dilshad Burman


Dilshad Burman is an award winning TV host and Canadian media personality.   Born in Mumbai, India, she was surrounded by its creative energy and grew up with a passion for music, film and television. While completing her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from The University of Mumbai, she i...


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