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The Bestselling 
Novel by
Erum Shazia Hasan

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Longlisted for the

2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize

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Available now from your favourite local bookstore. 

Or buy now from: 

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Her Story

Erum Shazia Hasan is a bestselling Canadian author. Her debut novel, We Meant Well, has not only captivated readers but also earned her a place among Canada's literary elite, securing a coveted spot on the longlist for the prestigious 2023 Giller Prize. Born in Canada and raised in France, Hasan is now based in Toronto where she is a sustainable development consultant for the United Nations and other international agencies. Inspired by her many travels, Hasan's writing transcends borders, bringing diverse cultures to life on the page.

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A propulsive debut that grapples with timely questions about what it means to be charitable, who deserves what, and who gets the power to decide It's the middle of the night in Los Angeles when Maya, a married mother of one, receives the phone call. Her colleague Marc has been accused of assaulting a local girl in Likanni, where they operate a charitable orphanage. Can she get on the next flight? When Maya arrives, protesters surround the compound. The accuser is Lele, her former protégé and the chief's daughter. There are no witnesses, no proof of any crime. What happened that night? And what will happen to the orphanage if this becomes a scandal? Caught between Marc and Lele, the charity and the villagers, her marriage and new temptations, and between worlds, Maya lives the secret contradictions of the aid worker: there to serve the most deprived, but ultimately there to govern. As Maya feels the pleasures, freedoms, and humanity of life in Likanni, she recognizes that her American life is inextricably woven into this violent reality -- and that dishonesty in one place affects the realities in another.

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"Erum Shazia Hasan on Exploring the Complex Moral & Emotional Landscape of International Aid Work in Her Brilliant Debut"

Open Book

"Linda raves about this debut novel by Erum Shazia Hasan"

Morality & Well-Meaning in Erum Shazia Hasan's We Meant Well.


Listen to the podcast now.

Getting Lit with Linda

- The Canadian Literature Podcast

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New Canadian Writers:  Erum Shazia Hasan

Erum Shazia Hasan is the debut author of We Meant Well, a novel that "grapples with timely questions about what it means to be charitable, who deserves what, and who gets the power to decide". By Jamie Gillingham

The Cardiff Review

In The Press
In The Press

"12 Canadian books make longlist for $100K Scotiabank Giller Prize"

"40 Canadian Books to Read This Summer"



"The Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2023"

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"Unsparing and compassionate ...

A novel of harrowing eloquence "

​ Foreword Reviews


"Emotional acuity, mixed in with thought-provoking moral questions make the novel a fascinating and illuminating journey for any reader."

Broadview Magazine


Listed in the Top 5 Fiction Picks.

"If you loved popular novels like 'White Teeth... 'We Meant Well,' like Smith’s “White Teeth,” deals with issues of race and class structures."

Huffington Post


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