A Deconstructed Heart is the story of Mirza, a middle-aged Indian college professor whose wife has left him. He moves out of his house into a tent in his back garden, where he sets up an outdoor classroom and serves tea to his kind but bewildered neighbors. He is visited by the irritable spirit of his long-dead teacher, Khan Sahib, who is befuddled by the dysfunctions of modern life.
In the north of England, Mirza’s niece, Amal,is finishing up her last year of college before she is expected to join her parents in their new home in India. Asked by her father to talk her uncle back into his senses, she moves into Mirza’s house, and they soon are connected by their shared loneliness. She meets Rehan, Mirza’s student, and is intrigued by the path of certainty he has built over his own loss and loneliness—a certainty that is threatened by his growing feelings for her.
When Rehan disappears, Amal’s suffering forces Mirza is to face the world once more. Together, Mirza and Amal must come to a new understanding of what it means to be an immigrant family when the old traditions have unraveled.
A Deconstructed Heart is a novella that explores the breakdown and rebuilding in one immigrant family trying to adapt: how lines in families and cultures are forcibly redrawn, how empty space can be reframed by a tent into a new definition of home… but how, no matter how hard we may try to forget, the past refuses to be contained.
Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed is the author of two works for the Kindle, A Deconstructed Heart and a short story, A Change in the Weather. Her book, A Deconstructed Heart, ranked #35 on the Amazon top 100 bestselling free ebooks for Literary Fiction. She won the a national essay competition about life in India held by the Indian High Commission in England and has had her poetry published in the Cadbury’s Book of Children’s Poetry and Tomorrow magazine. Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed grew up in India and England before moving to America. She lives in Chicago with her family.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I find I always circle back to reading literature about India and immigrants to the west, as this narrative has shaped the history of my own family. It was only natural that it would be a theme that would be central to my writing.
Link To Book On Amazon