'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
'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
'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 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
‘A cracking novel. I loved getting to know Sana, a curious but lonely girl dealing with loss, and Akbar Manzil, an old mansion groaning with
memories and secrets. As girl and house connect, Shubnum Khan unfolds a devastating history woven into the present with mastery and
poise.’ – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, author of Kintu
‘Shubnum’s magical storytelling creates a dark and luscious mood, where every character is expertly given life. Rich with family and community,
this is a novel full of redemptive love.’ – Melody Razak, author of Moth
‘The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is an utterly intoxicating novel that hums with life. The labyrinthine corridors of the Akbar Manzil mansion swallowed me whole, left me sacrificed to the mercy of its vengeful lovers and desperate spirits. This is a story with two faces, at once a romance and a horror, full of mirth and full of gore. Its pages will leave you breathless, haunted.’ – Karina Lickorish Quinn, author of The Dust Never Settles
‘Beautiful, just beautiful. A story – a history really – elegiacally written and filled with everything that makes for an absorbing read: love, intrigue,
conflict, mystique, and so much character. Shubnum Khan’s The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years invites us to examine South Africa’s issues of race,
class and gender through a refreshingly unique lens. A revelation!’ - Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, author of the City of Kings trilogy
‘The Lost Love of Akbar Manzil is as memorable as it is magical.’ – Zukiswa Wanner, author of The Madams
'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). (Read full review here)
‘South African novelist Khan blends gothic tropes with Indian mythology in her poignant US debut... Playful and evocative.’ – Publishers Weekly. (Read full review here)
‘Beautifully written with intriguing characters and a storyline that spans time, this subtle fantasy novel mixes historical fiction with dark fairy tales.’ – Booklist
‘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. (Read full review here).
'This sweeping, gorgeously atmospheric novel 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. Now, nearly a century since it was built, it stands in ruins: an isolated boardinghouse for misfits, seeking to forget their pasts and disappear into the mansions dark corridors.
Until Sana. She and her father are the latest of Akbar Manzil’s long list of tenants, seeking a new home after suffering painful loss. Unlike the others, who choose not to look too closely at the mansion’s unsettling qualities—the strange assortment of bones in the overgrown garden, the mysterious figure seen to move sometimes at night—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 locked door at its end, unopened for decades.
Behind the door is a bedroom frozen in time, with faded photographs of a couple in love and a worn diary that whispers of a dark past: the long-forgotten story of a young woman named Meena, the original owner’s second wife, who died there tragically a hundred years ago. Watching Sana from the room’s shadows is a grieving djinn, an invisible spirit who once loved Meena and 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, awakening the memories of the house itself—and 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.'
Viking (USA) - 9 January 2024
Preorder links here.
Oneworld Publications (UK) - 1 February 2024
Panmacmillan (South Africa) - 9 January 2024
*Note - Title is The Lost Love of Akbar Manzil locally
Preorder at Loot here.
HarperCollins (India) - info coming
Bloomsbury (Australia) - info coming
Neri Pozza (Italy) - info coming
Add it to your To Read List on Goodreads here.