More About the Author
Tariq Mehmood was born in Pakistan in 1956, but grew up in Bradford, UK, where in 1981 he was imprisoned on terrorist charges in a case known as the Bradford 12. He started writing his first novel, Hand On The Sun, in prison, with the belief that he would spend most of his life behind bars. He was acquitted. The novel was published by Penguin.
Tariq's second Novel, While There Is Light, Comma, was loosely set against the case of the Bradford 12.
Tariq says, 'In 1967, I was a little boy who migrated to England from a little village in Pakistan. Even before my bones adjusted to the Northern English cold, I had been transformed into a Paki and a wog, in the violent streets and in the playground at school. Along with many others, I resisted the racism into which I was thrown. But the life I lived was not the representation of my life that I read about in the newspapers, or saw on the television in 'faction' or fiction. A part of this reality I sought to change by writing myself.'
His new novel, The Song Of Gulzarina - a 77 year old Pakistani atheist, becomes a suicide bomber in England, a country he has spent most of his life in, is with his agent, David Grossman of London.
In May 2013 Tariq won the Francis Lincon award for children's fiction: You're Not Proper - two 14 year old girls, one who thinks she is white and the other, who wears the hijab despising the first for leaving the religion of her father. They both live in a northern English town, seething with Islamophobia, from where young men, British soldiers are going to Afghanistan.
In September 2013, You're Not Proper, won a further substantial award from the Arts Council of to enable support the author editorially as well as with publicizing the book and sharing the writing experience with a wide audience. T
He is also a filmmaker. His last major film, the multi-award winning, INJUSTICE,(www.injusticefilm.co.uk) about deaths in British police custody. Under intense police pressure, the film is still suppressed from terrestrial broadcast in the UK.
Tariq Mehmood is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the American University of Beirut.