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Rukhsana Ahmad

Writer, Playwright & Translator

Rukhsana Ahmad is a writer, playwright and translator. She has worked successfully across genres and cultures, avoiding easy categorisation as a writer. This website lists her main credits in each of the diverse areas of her work.


Her first full-length play, Song for a Sanctuary, opened at the Lyric Hammersmith in London and toured the regions. Nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn International Prize, it was followed by a BBC Radio 4 version. Since then she has written and adapted a number of plays for the stage, for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service Drama and three screenplays.

Alarmist Theatre commissioned and toured an adaptation of her widely anthologised story, “The Gatekeeper’s Wife”.


Her play, River on Fire opened at the Lyric Hammersmith to brilliant reviews and is a runner-up for the Susan Smith-Blackburn International Prize for 2002.


In 2007 the Vayu Naidu Company presented Mistaken: Annie Besant in India at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, at regional UK venues and the Cochrane Theatre, London. From December 2007 to January 2008 the show toured India, playing to audiences in Delhi, Allahabad and Chennai.


Click here for a full list of plays*  Click here for a full list of awards*

Homing birds


Everybody has a different definition of home. For some people it is the place where they grew up. For others, it’s the place they live now.  For many, home is any place in the company of their loved ones.

For Saeed, the young Afghan refugee in Homing Birds, it's a bit more complicated than that.

We Sinful Women: Contemporary Feminist Urdu Poetry, Rukhsana’s pioneering translation introduced some of Pakistan’s finest Urdu poets to global audiences.


Published by Virago, her first novel, The Hope Chest, was critically acclaimed.


In 2014 ILQA, Lahore published Rukhsana’s collection: The Gatekeeper’s Wife and other stories.


Click here for a full list of writing/publishing credits and review clips*

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