Artistic Works





Black wings

Sehba Sarwar ::: Black Wings

Alhamra Publishing: Islamabad, 2004

My first novel, Black Wings was published in 2004, and I am excited that it was published through Alhamra Publishing in Pakistan. Shafiq Naz, the founder and editor, is a wonderful force in the literary community and Alhamra has changed the face of publishing in English in Pakistan. Since he first launched Alhamra Publishing, more than ten other smaller publishing houses have sprung up around the country and are doing well.

I’ve given readings all around the US and Pakistan from Black Wings and the novel has done very well.

Spanning two continents, BLACK WINGS is the story of Laila and Yasmeen, a mother and daughter, struggling to meet across the generations, cultures, and secrets that separate them. Their shared grief for the death of Yasmeen’s twin (Laila’s only son), as well as the common bond of unhappiness in their marriages, allows them to reconnect after seventeen years of frustration, anger and misunderstandings. Yasmeen’s reappraisal of and newfound compassion for her mother ultimately leads her to fly with her own two children to reconnect with family and places from her past in Pakistan. The trip yields answers to questions about her twin’s death and her family history, leaving Yasmeen with a new understanding and integration of herself and her divided worlds.


With a keen eye for sensory detail Sehba Sarwar evokes the ambiance of Pakistan as deftly as she portrays the life of an immigrant family in America. A charming, suspenseful and well-structured first novel. —novelist Bapsi Sidhwa

Sehba Sarwar spins a compelling tale of love and loss, weaving the story of Yasmeen's estrangement from family, culture and homeland with the unraveling of a haunting family secret. As we learn more about the death of Yasmeen's beloved twin many years before, we ache for Yasmeen and her mother, Laila, especially once they begin to renew conflicts from the past. And through this renewal, we savor family stories, stories that hold the key to the past, present and future.—Marina Tristán, Assistant Director, Arte Público Press

Black Wings is currently out of print, but these sites/location might carry a few copies: