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Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi

Sara Langham
Film, TV and Stage Agent:
Georgie Smith
Translation Rights Contact:
Rhian Kane

Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi is a writer, editor, and translator. Her essays and reviews have appeared in publications including the Independent, CeaseFire Magazine, The Theatre Times, Wasafiri, Media Diversified, and the Express Tribune. Her fiction has been published online and in anthologies by Peepal Tree Press, Oberon books, Influx Press, Tilted Axis Press, and EMC. Her plays and monologues have had rehearsed readings and stagings at venues including the Rich Mix, Theatre 503 and the Tristan Bates theatre in London, and the Impact Hub in Birmingham, and she’s also written for BBC Radio 4. Recently, Ayesha was contributing editor for the Serial/New York Times podcast, The Trojan Horse Affair, and her debut novel The Centre was published by Picador (UK) and Gillian Flynn Books / Zando Projects (US) in July 2023. Ayesha is from Karachi and lives in London.

Photo credit: Mike Mindel

‘This is a book whose many delights and horrors are unlikely to be lost in translation.’ – The New York Times

‘The novel explores friendship, purpose, and power; it also frames language as intimate and embodied, casting translation as an opportunity for “a repurposing of things once thoughtlessly imbibed.’ – The New Yorker

‘… thrillingly ambitious literary chiller… This unusually accomplished debut is about much more than a surprise ending; the novel balances the light with the profound, combining humour and horror as it takes on issues of power and privilege, class, identity, assimilation and more.’ –   The Guardian

‘… Duolingo gone dark… With human relationships at the forefront of the narrative and a small but well-developed cast of characters, it’s a surprisingly emotional story for something so high-concept.’ – GQ – The Best Debut novels of 2023

‘ … Siddiqi’s easy storytelling and her heroine Anisa’s sweet narrative voice slip down like summer rosé. Siddiqi – herself an editor and translator – has the gift of maintaining propulsion and mystery, while keeping things human and realistic, and it’s lovely to see the world through the eyes of an intelligent, sensitive and sincere protagonist. The Centre is a wonderful novel…’ – The Observer

‘A fascinating and compelling premise that will have you hooked.’ – Glamour

The Centre