Exploring Identity and Literature with Sara Naveed
If you’ve thought that Pakistani literature needs diversity in its genres look no further. Sara Naveed is the author of 4 romance novels!
She has a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Management and Technology in Lahore. Here, we get to know Sara a bit more as we delve into her journey as a writer, thoughts on representation and more
Our theme for our July issue is “Identity and Self”? What does that theme mean to you personally
It means you have your own individual identity that sets you apart from the rest. You should know your worth and stick to the values that helped you shape up the person you are today.
I saw that you have a degree in Banking and Finance. How did you end up writing? What does your journey as an author lookalike?
I did my Bachelor's and Masters in business subjects and I was meant to work in the corporate sector. Writing happened by chance. I am an accidental writer. I enjoyed writing when it only meant to write fanfics for a movie forum. However, it was only when I came for my masters in another city, far away from my family when I realized I should write a book. That's where my journey as a writer started and it has been going incredible so far.
Are you characters inspired by any real life personalities?
I don't think so. They can be a mix and match of a a couple of fictional characters but I haven't taken inspiration from any real life personality.
Your books are some of the few Pakistani books I’ve seen that fall into the romance category. Its a refreshing chance from some of the more serious literature we have. How did you decide to write romance?
I have always been a romance buff. Be it movies, songs, or books, I have always had a soft corner for this genre from an early age. My fondness towards this genre is what led me to write romance.
What are your thoughts on writing and literature in Pakistan? Does there need to be a change in our mindsets around the importance of books?
Writing and literature still needs to grow in Pakistan. We lag far behind when it comes to the literacy rate. People need to read more books and consider writing as a serious profession. Book piracy should not be encouraged. Rather readers should be encouraged to buy original books so they can support their local authors. We still have a long way to go as publishing companies in Pakistan are only a few.
As a young girl, most of the literature I found for my age revolved around the lives of young white characters, who I had a hard time relating too. That slowly seems to be changing. Why do you think representation in literature is so important?
Representation in literature is imperative because it makes you feel closer to the things or people you're reading about in the book. I have received messages from so many readers who have told me that tthat they loved reading stories about brown people in my books because they could relate themselves to those characters. Being a Pakistani writer, I don't think I can ever write about foreign people.
How do you think we can move forward and change mindsets regarding these taboos around a woman’s place in society
We need to get away from.patriarchy slowly and steadily and treat women as our equals. We are human beings first and should be treated as such. Gender should never come in between anything.