Things She Could Never Have

Accomplished, sensitive, and often disturbing, these stories take us into the lives of modern Pakistanis–privileged and poor, gay, trans, and straight, men and women, in Karachi and Toronto. “Whisperings of the Devil” takes us into the mind of a mistreated maidservant’s boy who gets seduced into the role of a suicide bomber. In “To Allah We Pray,” two privileged and educated young men, one of them home from Toronto, gallivant through the streets of Karachi, finally walking into a doomed mosque. “Things She Could Never Have” is a love story about two young trans women living in Karachi. “Born on the First of July” opens the door into the home of a Toronto girl who has left to join ISIS and the devastated family she leaves behind. “The First” will astonish many readers by its depiction of sexual encounters of young college girls in Pakistan. These and other stories link us into the complexities of a sometimes troubled and often misrepresented Muslim society.

“Charmingly modern language surrounds readers, soaking them in the culture of [Khan’s] world while demonstrating the subtleties of an often-misrepresented Muslim society.”
–World Literature Today

“The reason I wanted more is because of what Khan does well: offering a kaleidoscopic view of those so often rendered invisible.”
The Globe and Mail

“[Things She Could Never Have] is marked by its pitch-perfect writing and the empathy it brings to its characters … a welcome taste of the essence of precisely what it means to be Pakistani.”

“Khan’s prose is beautifully observed: it often captures the atmosphere and the general feel of a place with economy, and at other times with more effusive descriptive power. One can almost smell the streets of Karachi here, especially when it rains.”

“Powerful, rich, evocative and heartbreaking, Things She Could Never Have is filled with memorable stories about religion, gender, marriage, family, country and culture.”
–Lisa de Nikolits, author of No Fury Like That

“Sometimes the worlds meet and mesh. Sometimes they collide violently. And sometimes they pass with only a glancing touch. But Khan’s stories are always richer for bringing them together. And this promising collection’s juxtapositions will reward any reader who spends time with them.”
–The Temz Review

“Tehmina Khan has given a voice to those people whom modern day literature shuns and ignores . . . It is story collections like this one that are necessary now more than ever before.”
Amie’s Book Review Blog

“Khan’s writing is spectacular, and her characters rich … A must read for readers who want to see the underbelly of Pakistani society and its diaspora.”
Blue Minaret


Publication Date: September 2017

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-988449-14-2
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
128 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-988449-24-1

Photo of Tehmina Khan

Tehmina Khan was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and holds degrees from Kinnaird College, Lahore, and Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis. She has her home in Toronto, where she lives with her husband, two children, and a dog, Luna, and is currently working on a novel.