Saturday June 03, 2023

Sana Pirzada weaves more spell-binding Gothic tales

April 25, 2019

“Love is all about self sacrifice and true love has no boundaries — no ‘ifs’, no ‘buts’, and no conditions,” said British-educated barrister Sana Pirzada while reading out a passage from her latest Gothic fiction ‘Vernon Hall and Other Stories’.

The simple words, though no less profound, carry a theme of transcendent love, which was an overarching theme in Pirzada’s book launch over the weekend, and is also scattered within her macabre tales of “love, loss and redemption”.

Pirzada’s latest book is a collection of stories: two short ones, Lord Ravenson and Madame de Quincey, a long poem -— The Withered Mistletoe — and Vernon Hall itself, a novella, which promises to contain morality lessons in the horror tradition of Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker.

When she took the stand, Pirzada spoke about her passion for the genre and briefly guided the audience through her volume and its illustrations. She also made a strong case to read books, lamenting the decline of reading in Pakistani society, which she termed “quite frankly, a tragedy”.

“This is something that needs a revival in our society. It is essential,” she added. “It widens one’s intellectual dimensions.... [it gives one] the ability to empathise with one another.”

She also suggested more universities in Pakistan needed to offer courses like literature and philosophy.

Speaking to The News, she said: “I’ve had a passion for Gothic fiction. And I’m really happy I’m finally able to produce some theses of literature that revolve around those themes and have typical Gothic characters. I’m just overjoyed about it.”

Her debut novel ‘The Rose Within — A Gothic Romance’ was launched in 2016 and won several awards.