Kia Abdullah

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Kia Abdullah
Kia Abdullah
Kia Abdullah
Born (1982-05-17) 17 May 1982 (age 37)
Tower Hamlets, London, England
OccupationNovelist, writer
EducationBSc Computer science
Alma materQueen Mary University of London
Years active2006–present
PartnerPeter Watson

Kia Abdullah (born 17 May 1982) is a British novelist and travel writer. She has written three novels: Life, Love and Assimilation (Adlibbed, 2006),[1] Child's Play (Revenge Ink, 2009)[2] and Take It Back (HarperCollins, 2019)[3], and has contributed to The Guardian,[4] The New York Times,[5] The Telegraph,[6] BBC,[7] and Lonely Planet.[8][9]


Abdullah is of Bangladeshi descent and was born and brought up in the London borough of Tower Hamlets in a family of eight children.[10] Of her childhood, Abdullah has said: "[People] imagine poverty and misery, hardship and hand-me-downs. Of course I forfeited my fair share of material pleasures but a household of noise and colour is far better than possessions and privilege."[11]


Abdullah was educated in England. She graduated from Queen Mary, University of London with a first class in BSc Computer Science. Her final year thesis was titled A Program Slicing Tool for Analysing Java Programs.[12] Abdullah has an IQ of 150.[13] She was a member of Mensa International, a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile of IQ, but left within a year of joining. Given her educational choices, Abdullah has described herself as a ‘nerd by default’.[14]


In 2006, Abdullah published her first novel Life, Love and Assimilation, which drew comparisons with Monica Ali's Brick Lane.[15]

In 2009, Abdullah published her second novel, a psychological crime thriller called Child's Play.

In 2019, Abdullah published her third novel Take It Back, which was chosen by The Guardian and The Telegraph newspapers as one of their best crime and thriller novels.[16][17]

In 2011 Abdullah responded to the deaths of three young men from England in a coach crash in Thailand[18] by tweeting that she felt no sympathy and "smiled when I saw that they had double-barrelled surnames."[19] Her comments were widely condemned[20] and the editor of the Guardian, for whom she had occasionally written online comment pieces, said the tweets were deplorable and that the author did not represent their views. Abdullah deleted the tweets and apologised.

Abdullah has written on a range of topics from politics to relationships for the Guardian newspaper.[4] She has spoken out on a range of subjects, from drug abuse[21] and gender inequality[7] to dealing with culture and identity as a British-Asian writer.[22][23] Her article on honour killings was nominated for a Muslim Writers Award.[24]

As Features Editor at Asian Woman magazine, Abdullah interviewed a range of prominent Asian actors and musicians including Jay Sean, Meera Syal, Nitin Sawhney and Anoushka Shankar. She is an occasional guest on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show as well as BBC Asian Network's DJ Nihal show.

Abdullah also works as a travel writer and has contributed to Lonely Planet[8] and Rough Guides.[25] She is currently editor at outdoor travel site Atlas & Boots[26] and has spoken about her travels on television,[27] radio,[28] print[29] and online.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Abdullah is in a relationship with British travel photographer Peter Watson.[31]


Year Title Publisher ISBN
2006 Life, Love and Assimilation Adlibbed Ltd ISBN 978-1-8973-1200-1
2009 Child's Play Revenge Ink ISBN 978-0-9558-0785-5
2019 Take It Back HarperCollins ISBN 978-0-0083-1467-5


  1. ^ "Life, Love and Assimilation". 17 May 2006. Retrieved 11 May 2006.
  2. ^ "Child's Play". 4 December 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  3. ^ "Take It Back". Amazon UK.
  4. ^ a b "Kia Abdullah". the Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Childless in a Houseful of Children". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Why I agreed to marry a man I'd met only once". The Telegraph. 16 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Kia Abdullah". IMDb. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  8. ^ a b Planet, Lonely (2 March 2016). "Best places to travel in June 2016 - Lonely Planet". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  9. ^ Planet, Lonely (10 May 2016). "Best places to travel in August 2016 - Lonely Planet". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  10. ^ "About | Kia Abdullah". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  11. ^ "The Bengali East End: Histories of life and work in Tower Hamlets" (PDF). Idea Store.
  12. ^ "A Program Slicing Tool for Analysing Java Programs" (PDF). Kia Abdullah. 28 April 2003.
  13. ^ "Is joining Mensa a smart move?". The Guardian. 31 May 2010. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  14. ^ O'Connor, Stuart (18 April 2008). "It's a bunch of gadgets in one". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Vaani: "Launch of VAANI"". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  16. ^ Wilson, Laura (23 August 2019). "The best recent crime and thrillers – review roundup". The Guardian.
  17. ^ Kerridge, Jake (6 September 2019). "The 26 best thrillers and crime novels of 2019 so far". The Telegraph.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "British Bangladeshis battle against drugs". BBC News. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  22. ^ "Writing Wrongs" (PDF). Asiana magazine.
  23. ^ "Kia Abdullah on writing Child's Play – The Asian Writer". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  24. ^ "Museum of Awards – 2009 | Young Muslim Writers Awards". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Travel Features by Kia | Rough Guides". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  26. ^ "About | Atlas & Boots". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  27. ^ Atlas & Boots (22 January 2016), Atlas and Boots interview on London Live, retrieved 12 August 2016
  28. ^ Graeme Kemlo Speaks To Adventure Travellers Kia Abdullah And Peter Watson, retrieved 12 August 2016
  29. ^ "Get Lost magazine" (PDF).
  30. ^ "Peter & Kia | Hero and Leander". 2 December 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  31. ^ "Introducing Atlas & Boots | Royal Robbins Blog". 4 September 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2016.

External links[edit]