The Family Tree by  Sairish Hussain

The Family Tree

Sairish Hussain

In just a moment life can change. In this inter-generational muslim family, fraught relationships and costly life choices eventually take their toll. Heartfelt and intense from the start, this story, un-flinching in the telling, balances the ordinariness of everyday life with the extraordinary and consequential effects of sudden loss. Snippets of humour blend with the backdrop of struggle in the hope of bringing love and truthful connection.


It was always when the house was completely empty that Zahara would pluck up the courage to open the door. She wandered up the stairs one day after Ammi and Abbu left home for a doctors appointment, inched towards the silver handle, turned it and put her head cautiously through the opening as if expecting somebody to be there. Zahara knew that he would not have been happy with the bright blue walls, the single bed in the corner, the piles of boxes with boyish things spilling out of them. Zahara saw the same pin had fallen off again, leaving the Muhammad Ali poster dangling by a single tack. She pinned it back in place. It was one of the few things in her house that was easily corrected.

  • If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
  • Out of Touch by Haleh Agar