The Encyclopedia of Hallucinations is a literary novel is about Afreen, the wry, dutiful eldest daughter of Pakistani Muslim immigrant parents, who, in a foolhardy attempt to get free of her domineering mother, jumps into a hasty marriage with a sexy stranger and moves to New York City to live with him.
While she loves the diversity and outrageous spirit of her new hometown, as well as the rapid education in racial politics, she quickly learns that the freedom she hoped for would not be found in her marriage. Her new husband’s charming facade is cover for a controlling, abusive narcissist. Worse yet, when she asks for her mother’s support in leaving him, she is told to stay put, because it would reflect badly on the family if she got a divorce.
Afreen realizes that her life and her self-respect are in danger, and that she must choose between sacrificing her well-being to keep her mother’s approval, and overturning her family relationships to flee her abusive husband and take her chances on an uncharted destiny.
The Encyclopedia of Hallucinations explores the hard choices second-generation immigrants make between loyalty to their families on one hand and the influence of the majority culture on the other, and the struggle to become free human beings in the face of these powerful forces.
Amna is seeking representation for this manuscript. If you’re an agent who’d like to consider it or an editor who wants to connect, please be in touch.
“Claiming Desiland,” You Are Here: A Journal of Creative Geography, Issue 2009
“Black Coffee,” Adbusters Magazine, Issue 68