Black Wings

An accidental death that scars a family keeps pulling at its center to unfold a magical world in misty mountains. Black Wings is a tale of family secrets, independent women, and a period of rapid change in Pakistan and post 9/11 America. — Liliana Valenzuela, poet and translator

visit UPDATES to view fall 2019 tour dates

Black Wings peels back layers of home and belonging, exploring what it means to be family from different worlds bound by shared secrets. Sehba Sarwar reveals the importance of stories, masterfully weaving the past with the present and the USA with Pakistan, in a narrative filled with love which offers us a glimpse into our shared humanity.

—Sorayya Khan, author of City of Spies

Spanning two continents, Black Wings is the story of Laila and Yasmeen, a mother and daughter, who struggle to meet across the generations, cultures, and secrets that separate them. Their shared grief, as well as the common bond of unhappiness in their marriages, allows them to reconnect after almost two decades.

Yasmeen’s reappraisal of and newfound compassion for her mother ultimately leads her to return to Pakistan along with her two children to reconnect with family and places from her past. The trip yields answers about her family, leaving Yasmeen with a new understanding of herself and her divided worlds.

Release: February 2019, Veliz Books (El Paso)

Purchase Here!

Deeply intimate and resonating, Sehba Sarwar’s Black Wings skillfully blends reality and dreams, personal stories and folklore, opening us to a world where a mother and daughter are haunted by secrets that have defined their relations and shaped them. Set in the post-911 era, it’s a complex homecoming novel that takes us across time and continents to meditate on family, love, loss, identity, and what it means to forgive despite the pain.

— Fan Wu, author of Beautiful as Yesterday

Click here to view Fall 2019 tour dates

Read my interview with Ms Magazine in which I talk about Black Wings

Spring 2019 Tour Dates

March 7, 2019

Pre-launch reading, Caltech International Spouses Club, Caltech University, Pasadena, California.

March 29, 2019

Black Wings Book Launch alongside writers Mohamed Asem, Corinne Manning & Ramzy Farouki, Faro Gallery, Portland, Oregon

March 29, 2019

An evening of poetry and prose with Macondistas, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

I was raised in a storytelling culture. Through Black Wings, I weave a narrative that collapses walls in a post-9/11 world where nationalism is on the rise throughout the world. Reintroducing Black Wings to new audiences reinforces my belief that stories are the pathway to connections and understanding.

The new version of Black Wingspublished in the US for the first time, is a leaner novel that is reflective of the writing style that I developed since the novel’s first edition was published by Alhamra Publishing. However, the heart of the novel—the healing power of stories and multigenerational exchanges that cross continents—remains constant.

Sehba Sarwar


I am an author and speaker, an artist, and a community and cultural activist.

If I can use my talents and passions to inspire you or your network to push boundaries and become involved in our communities, please connect with me. I offer a range of services including: readings, workshops, courses, or multidisciplinary performances/installations. I look forward to hearing from you!


Sehba Sarwar Art Car
Front hood of art car, Digital Meets Pakistani Truck Art, featuring stickers of buraq images from Karachi; photo by Burnell McCray