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Safia Fazlul

Safia Fazlul
Safia Fazlul, photograph by Val Lem

Safia Fazlul was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh but raised in Norway until the age of ten or eleven when her family relocated to Canada. She published her first novel shortly after receiving her B.A. from the University of Toronto. Fazlul retired from the financial services industry and continues to write both poetry and fiction.

The Harem book cover


The Harem

Toronto: TSAR Publications, 2012.
PS8611 .A98 H37 2012

Publisher’s Synopsis

Farina has only one dream: to be free and move away from Peckville, a Muslim immigrant ghetto in a large city.  She is eager to escape the clutches of here strict parents who will not let her drink, party or be friendly with men.  As soon as she turns eighteen, she sets her dream in motion and gets her own apartment.  The only problem is that her minimum-wage job leaves her feeling anything but liberated.  How can she resist when her ambitious best friend Sabrina proposes an infallible business idea?  How harmful can running an escort agency really be?  Will she finally be freed by her new wealth and independence, or will her nagging guilt get the better of her?


The Red One

Toronto: Mawenzi House, 2023.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

The Red One is a novel that explores the topics of marriage, sexual abuse, and gender expectations in the setting of a tight-knit South Asian community in Canada.

Obsessed with her weight and appearance, Nisha, better known as “Azar’s beautiful wife,” lives a seemingly perfect life in a suburban, upper middle-class community outside Toronto. But the marriage is passionless. By her dominant and unfaithful husband she is unwilling to have a child; she is also haunted by her secret past, when she was sexually abused as a child. She finds escape in shopping sprees and surrounding herself with fake friends, while secretly spiralling into a drug addiction to numb her pains. When she is asked to help with a charity event, Nisha accepts the challenge, but there she meets a mysterious man she thinks of as the Red One, to whom she’s instantly and dangerously attracted. The encounter makes her finally realize that she must face her terrible past and somehow vanquish it

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Safia Fazlul.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 269-270.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017


Safia Fazlul official website from 2012

Publisher Mawenzi House Publishers (formerly TSAR Publications)