A breath of fresh air to keep you reading into the night? On display across our travel stores, we’ve provided a space for new and emerging authors to be seen, and for our readers to explore a range of diverse new novels.Find out more about Ayisha Malik and her Fresh Talent book Sofia Khan is Not Obliged below. Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.’ Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. ’ Unlucky in love once again after her sort-of-boyfriend/possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good.

But in amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and polygamy-inclined friends, could there be a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love …?

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is the hilarious and fresh debut novel by Ayisha Malik.

Read if you loved: You Had me at Hello – Mhairi Mc Farlane Ayisha Malik Biography Ayisha Malik is a British Muslim, lifelong Londoner and lover of books.

She read English Literature at Kingston University and went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing.

So, the seeds of Sofia Khan were being sown every time something ridiculous happened to me, or someone I knew.

The punchline would generally involve a hijab, or something related to this constant need to practise my religion – like the time I was caught praying at an author’s book launch. Yes, the world might be falling apart, but that’s no reason why your life should do the same.

When I’d go home – after a day of hoping no-one saw my arse in the air, mid-prayer – I’d switch on the news and invariably hear the word ‘Muslim’ and ‘terrorist’ in the same sentence; this just didn’t sit right. Being unmarried in your thirties within South Asian culture is tantamount to your very own personal apocalypse.

She has spent various spells teaching, and being a publicist at Random House.

Now, she works for the editorial consultant agency Cornerstones. Ayisha Malik on the Inspiration Behind Sofia Khan is not Obliged People don’t laugh enough. Take the time I was called a terrorist, for example.

Sure, it was pretty crap, but it was also absurd – I was wearing vintage shoes, for God’s sake – terrorists don’t wear vintage shoes.

The moment I thought this and, admittedly, laughed at my own joke, I wondered: wouldn’t this scene be funny in a book?