Andersen Press snaps up evocative debut from Noor Khan

Friday 27th January 2023

Andersen Press has acquired the début fiction book from Hiba Noor Khan, which tells the true story of the Grand Mosque of Paris during the Second World War.

Eloise Wilson, commissioning editor for fiction, commissioned Noor Khan through her agent Megan Carroll of Watson, Little to write this story, which celebrates Muslim and Jewish shared history. The book, titled Safiyyah’s War, will be released in paperback in July.

The synopsis reads: “War comes to the streets of Paris and Safiyyah’s life changes forever. Her best friend’s family have fled and the bombing makes her afraid to leave the mosque where she lives. But when her father is arrested by the Nazis for his secret Resistance work, it falls to Safiyyah to run the dangerous errands around the city. It’s not long before hundreds of persecuted Jews seek sanctuary at the mosque. Can Safiyyah find the courage to enter the treacherous catacombs under Paris and lead the Jews to safety?”

Hiba said: “When I first began researching the role of the Grand Mosque of Paris in saving Jews, I was absolutely blown away. I was moved to tears by their remarkable courage and commitment to humanity and awed by the sophistication and resilience of their activities. For far too long, this story has remained in the shadows. I feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to write this story and intend for it to be a humanising, unifying force in an all-too-often bitterly divided world. My hope is that the time has now come for these forgotten heroes to be honoured, for their stories to be told and celebrated. Both Jewish and Muslim tradition share the saying; For whoever saves a single life, it is as if they have saved all of humanity.”

For more see The Bookseller Article