The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years: A Novel By Shubnum Khan Cover Image
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Description


A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITOR'S CHOICE

"Rich and swoony...an ambitious delight, with rich characters and some exceptionally lovely writing...This is the start of a major career." -- The New York Times Book Review

AN INDIE NEXT PICK
A LIBRARY READS PICK

“A dark and heady dream of a book” (Alix E. Harrow) about a ruined mansion by the sea, the djinn that haunts it, and a curious girl who unearths the tragedy that happened there a hundred years previous


Akbar Manzil was once a grand estate off the coast of South Africa. Nearly a century later, it stands in ruins: an isolated boardinghouse for eclectic misfits, seeking solely to disappear into the mansion’s dark corridors. Except for Sana. Unlike the others, she is curious and questioning and finds herself irresistibly drawn to the history of the mansion: To the eerie and forgotten East Wing, home to a clutter of broken and abandoned objects—and to the door at its end, locked for decades.

Behind the door is a bedroom frozen in time and a worn diary that whispers of a dark past: the long-forgotten story of a young woman named Meena, who died there tragically a hundred years ago. Watching Sana from the room’s shadows is a besotted, grieving djinn, an invisible spirit who has haunted the mansion since her mysterious death. Obsessed with Meena’s story, and unaware of the creature that follows her, Sana digs into the past like fingers into a wound, dredging up old and terrible secrets that will change the lives of everyone living and dead at Akbar Manzil. Sublime, heart-wrenching, and lyrically stunning, The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is a haunting, a love story, and a mystery, all twined beautifully into one young girl’s search for belonging.

About the Author


Shubnum Khan is a South African author and artist. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times; McSweeney’s Quarterly; HuffPost; O, The Oprah Magazine; The Sunday Times (London); Marie Claire; and others. Her first novel, Onion Tears (2011) was shortlisted for the Penguin Prize for African Writing and the University of Johannesburg Debut Fiction Prize. Her essay collection, How I Accidentally Became a Stock Photo was published in South Africa and India with Pan Macmillan in 2021. The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is her debut novel in the US.

Praise For…


A MUST-READ DEBUT NOVEL FROM LIBRARY READS | INDIENEXT | THE WEEK | IO9 | BOOK RIOT | DEBUTIFUL | AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE | BORROW, READ, REPEAT | PUBLISHERS WEEKLY | SHELF AWARENESS

“The city of Durban on South Africa’s east coast falls psychically somewhere between Miami and New Orleans. It’s sugarcane-sticky and portside-seedy, a little glam, a little Miss Havisham. Add vervet monkeys and a turbulent colonial history and Durban Gothic should already be its own genre. That it’s not means Shubnum Khan gets to set the tone with her magical and only gently haunted haunted-house novel, ‘The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years’…Despite the Gothic trappings, this is not a novel of creeping dread. It’s rich and swoony, tilting for the ecstasy of Sufi poets like Rumi, with a wink to those epic Indian romance movies Pinky adores…The love story at the heart of the novel is grand and gorgeous and bravean ambitious delight, with rich characters and some exceptionally lovely writing…A decade ago, Khan’s photograph made her a sensation. I suspect her writing will do the same again. This is the start of a major career.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Khan’s imbuement of sorrow and shame into the character of moldering 1920s palace Akbar Mansil is only one of the choices that render her American debut a triumph. Her novel is lush yet precise, tightly winding two narrative strands around each other to create a tapestry of love, loneliness, grief, and forgiveness…This foundation of the world’s cruelties melds with Khan’s rhythmic writing to create an immersive and memorable novel. The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is reminiscent of such luminaries as Isabel Allende and Elif Shafak, and the delicious power of its rotting manor will draw more recent comparisons to Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s incredible Mexican Gothic. Yet Shubnum Khan has created a fable all her own, and readers drawn to everything from historical fiction to young adult fantasy will find something to love in this haunting reverie of a book.” Reactor (formerly Tor.com)

"The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is a powerful, gorgeous novel. Shubnum Khan has written a story brimming with evocative prose, well-developed characters, and fantastical elements rendered so realistically you forget you’re reading speculative fiction. This is one of those books I wish I could read again for the first time." -- Locus Magazine

"Khan’s prose is lush and lovely, her pacing skillful, and she successfully weaves a complex plot with a large cast. A ghost story, a love story, a mystery—this seductive novel has it all." Kirkus *starred revew*

"Khan stuns with a multigenerational gothic tale infused with magical realism, set at Akbar Manzil, a crumbling, formerly grand estate off the coast of South Africa that now serves as a boardinghouse....This novel is a mystery and a love story fraught with heartbreak, infused with Islamic mythology, and written in evocative, lyrical prose. Fans of Isabel Allende and Alice Hoffman will be enchanted with this beautiful book." Library Journal *starred review*

"Dazzling...a magical and richly atmospheric gothic coming-of-age tale...Cinematic in scope and rendered in redolent prose, The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is a deeply immersive and inventive exploration of the many facets of love, loneliness and grief. Khan’s descriptions of Durban ground the story despite its fantastical elements, making the novel all the more compelling. Fueled by its vivid details, bewitching setting and a colorful cast of characters (including the house Akbar Manzil itself ), this engrossing read acts as a potent reminder that the past does not merely hold the power to hurt us, but also to heal us.” BookPage

"Haunting and healing, The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years, with its shades of The House of Spirits and Rebecca, is one of the best books I've read this year…Khan's gorgeous writing lays bare what it means to love, grieve, haunt and, ultimately, let go." Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of Other Birds and Garden Spells

“Filled with wonder and colour, the secrets of the dilapidated mansion Akbar Manzil come to life in this rich tale of loss and love. The arrival of 15 year old Sana, who is herself haunted, is the catalyst that revives long-forgotten memories, as well as the spirit that still lingers in the empty rooms. I was enthralled and completely swept away by Khan's masterful unspooling of family secrets, fatal jealousy, and a love that endures after death.” Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Tiger

"The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is a dark and heady dream of a book, which reveals itself in layers as a gothic horror, a tragic romance, and a classic coming-of-age tale. Hauntingly gorgeous." Alix E. Harrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Starling House

"The Djinn Waits A Hundred Years is a cinematic spectacular, rife with doomed love and vengeful spirits and a lurking violence always waiting to pounce. Shubnum Khan has written a gorgeous gothic mystery, a fascinating meditation on the nature of forgiveness and time."
Julia Fine, author of Maddalena and the Dark

“Haunting, beautiful, and atmospheric…I loved it.” Jenny Lawson, New York Times bestselling author of Broken

"Beautifully written with intriguing characters and a story line that spans time, this subtle fantasy novel mixes historical fiction with dark fairy tales."Booklist

"South African novelist Khan blends gothic tropes with Indian mythology in her poignant U.S. debut...The novel coheres as Khan portrays the house’s point of view, showing in playful and evocative prose how it responds to new residents (“As the new smells climb excitedly into the eaves... older smells, annoyed, move higher up away”). This holds its own in a crowded field of neo-gothic fiction." Publishers Weekly

"Shubnum Khan is a spellbinding storyteller. Her subtly spooky debut is a marvelous literary tableau, offsetting an enchanting love story amid the opulent grounds of a palatial manor (once "the grandest house on the east coast of Africa") with revelations of the mysterious tragedy that led to Akbar Manzil's abandonment." Shelf Awareness

"Khan, making her literary-horror debut, spins a haunted-house narrative around the under-utilized concept of the djinn, a spirit drawn from Arab and Muslim folklore. In the book, Sana finds the century-old diary of a girl named Meena. She then tries to find out what happened to her at the dilapidated Akbar Manzil mansion, now a boarding house for the down-on-their-luck, on the South African coast. But as Sana works to unravel Meena's mysteries, she is stalked by a djinn through the sprawling house, which is almost its own character." The Week

"Filled with luscious prose, her book is a vivid coming-of-age that uses gothic undertones to explore romance and beauty in a refreshing and haunting way."Debutiful

"Expect gothic thrills in this novel about the mysterious legacy of a mansion off the coast of South Africa." — AudioFile Magazine

"A sumptuous and haunting multi-generational saga set in a crumbling estate along the coast of South Africa, The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years promises to be a fresh take on a classic and beloved genre.” — Polygon

“South African writer and artist Shubnum Khan makes her stunning U.S. debut with this genre-bending gothic horror fantasy mystery.” — Ms. Magazine


Product Details
ISBN: 9780593653456
ISBN-10: 0593653459
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: January 9th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English