Qaisra Shahraz was born in Pakistan and brought up in Manchester, England, from the age of nine. She studied English and Classical civilization at the Univeristy of Manchester and went on to gain two Masters Degrees at the University of Salford – in English and European Literature and in Scriptwriting for Television and Radio. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Royal Society of Literature.
As a freelance journalist, she has contributed features and articles to various magazines and newspapers. Several of her short stories are published in the UK and abroad, in particular in schools anthologies in Germany. One of her short stories, Perchanvah, won the Ian St. James Award in 1994. she has appeared at several international literary festivals and written plays for radio and television, including a screenplay adaptation of her first novel. Her award-winning drama serial Dil Hee To Hai (The Heart Is It) was broadcast internationally.
Qaisra Shahraz is the author of two novels The Holy Woman (2001) and Typhoon (2003) translated into numerous languages. The first is a powerful love story, introducing the reader to the traditions of a vibrant world of four Muslim countries. It was awarded the title Best Book of the Month by Waterstones. Typhoon is a sequel set in the fictitious village of Chiraghpur. She has recently completed a third novel, a volume of short stories and co-authored a literary textbook for German teachers entitled Emerging India.
Qaisra Shahraz has another successful career in education, as a consultant, teachertrainer and college inspector for Ofsted. She was shortilisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in 2002 and for the Muslim News Awards for Excellence in 2003. She lives with her family in Manchester.