Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Questions for discussion
1. How does Khalid Mirza—a bearded, white robe–wearing romantic—challenge stereotypes about Muslim men in Ayesha at Last?
2. What do you think will happen to Ayesha in terms of her career?
3. Ayesha’s relationship to her family is complicated but always rooted in love. How does her family inﬂuence her goals, ambition, and personality?
4. In Shakespearean tradition, the book ends with numerous couples: some in love, and others with arrangements that will lead to love. Who is your favorite couple and why?
5. Zareena has made peace with her marriage and situation in life. Were you surprised by her story and choices?
6. What further adventures do you foresee for Nani?
7. What role does Shakespeare play in the book, and how did Nana’s constant quotations develop the plot of Ayesha at Last?
8. The author wrote this book with many winking references to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Why do you think she chose this classic Austen favorite? Do you think the homage to the famous 19th-century novel works in modern times?
9. Ayesha at Last
makes reference to the idea of a duality that exists in many ﬁrst- and second- generation immigrant communities. In particular, many characters living in North America are affected by events that happened “back home.” How is this relevant to our current world?
10. Did you feel any sympathy for Farzana?
11. Sheila is someone in a position of power over both Clara and Khalid, so it is diffcult for them to directly confront her at ﬁrst. Have you ever been in a similar position and if so, what did you do?
12. The traditional way in which Khalid’s and Ayesha’s families view courtship contrasts greatly with the modern era of dating apps and casual hookups. What do you think are the pros and cons of each?