Our Self-Written Obituaries – Bina Shah, Karachi

Our Self-Written Obituaries – Bina Shah, Karachi

The 21st death.

[Text by Bina Shah]

Bina Shah, Pakistani writer and columnist, died peacefully at her home in Karachi, Pakistan, at the age of ___.

Ms Shah could never quite understand the reason for her popularity as a writer. She never won any major literary awards, never attained an MFA from a prestigious creative writing program, never made any list of “Best Writers Under 40/50/60″. Yet as the author of several novels and collections of short stories, and the producer of a steady series of columns for international newspapers about her home country, Pakistan, she gained a small but loyal readership that enjoyed everything she ever wrote. She realized, at an early stage in her life, that this was more important than accolades bestowed upon her by the so-called arbiters of literary good taste.

Ms Shah lived a life of dual worlds: Pakistani and American, rural Sindh and urban Karachi, exhibitionistic social media and the interior world of the writer. She often told people it was an uncomfortable way to live, but absolutely necessary for the uncomfortable profession of being a writer. “Being a perpetual outsider, a nomad of the mind, allows you an intimacy with your subjects that you could never find if you belonged firmly to any one thing,” she wrote in her journal, discovered after her death (Bina Shah’s Diary will be published by Random House early next year).

Our Self-Written Obituaries invites people to write their obituary in 200 words. The idea is to share with the world how you will like to be remembered after you are gone. (May you live a long life, of course!) Please mail me your self-obit at mayankaustensoofi@gmail.com.