Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love (2024)

by Huma Qureshi

Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love (1)

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9th June 2022

Price: £9.99


/ Fiction: Special Features / Short Stories

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Selected: Paperback/ ISBN-13: 9781529368697

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‘A deft, satisfying and poignant collection of stories . . . I loved it’ Pandora Sykes

‘Huma Qureshi is a writer I know I’ll be reading for years and years and years’ Natasha Lunn, author of Conversations on Love

A breathtaking collection of stories about our most intimate relationships, and the secrets, misunderstandings and silences that haunt them.

A daughter asks her mother to shut up, only to shut her up for good; an exhausted wife walks away from the husband who doesn’t understand her; on holiday, lovers no longer make sense to each other away from home.

Set across the blossoming English countryside, the stifling Mediterranean and the bustling cities of London and Lahore, Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love illuminates the parts of ourselves we rarely reveal.

*Longlisted for the Jhalak Prize*
*Longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize*

‘These are stories of fierce clarity and tenderness – I loved them’ Lucy Caldwell, author of Intimacies

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Pandora Sykes

A deft, satisfying and poignant collection of stories which pivot around a moment of shock or revelation - and challenge the idea that shame can be unburdened and secrets liberated, by sharing them with others. I loved it.

Lucy Caldwell, author of <i>Intimacies</i>

Huma Qureshi writes the inarticulable distances between mothers and daughters, the consuming ache of longing for someone not yet kissed, the invisible, irreparable breaches in friendships or between lovers, with such pitch-perfect precision, such lightness of touch. These are stories of fierce clarity and tenderness - I loved them.

Ingrid Persaud, author of <i>Love After Love</i>

I admired Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love. Qureshi writes with courage and in these extraordinary stories capture the shame and loneliness of non-belonging and the challenge of self-acceptance.

Natasha Lunn, author of <i>Conversations on Love</i>

In this rich collection of stories, Huma Qureshi shows us the truth, mess and beauty of humans trying - and often failing - to understand each other. Just like love itself, her stories are full of honesty and mystery, pain and hope, and the memories we think we've forgotten, but that still steer our hearts. I'm still thinking about them. And Huma Qureshi is a writer I know I'll be reading for years and years and years.

Anna Bonet, Well Read

This collection has reminded me how much I love short stories . . . I devoured it cover to cover . . . the whole collection is seriously wise and moving; one I know I'm going to revisit.

Katie Goh, The Skinny

A sturdy, and very often moving, debut collection.

Holly Williams, Observer

Qureshi's stories keenly identify the everyday tragedies of feeling profoundly unknown or unheard, of holding secrets and misunderstandings . . . These tales vividly capture the experience of feeling constrained by family expectations, but also of not quite fitting the norms of British culture either . . . Qureshi takes the reader plausibly inside the inner recesses of characters' hearts and minds. Premonition beautifully recalls the intensity of a first crush, developed via "a private symphony of glances", before a bewildering first kiss leads to disaster. And she captures how such incidents can, in adulthood, seem insignificant and still life-defining . . . there are so many striking images to relish.


Intimate and incredibly insightful

Shahidha Bari, Guardian

Well told stories with well realised characters . . . Qureshi, like [Jhumpa] Lahiri, is a companionable and considered writer, and this is a collection you can read enjoyably, rain or shine.

Francesca Brown, <i>Stylist</i> Christmas 2021 Gift Guide

A series of beautifully written short stories examining the pent-up frustrations and the everyday betrayals that even our closest relationships can cause.

Sunday Times

[An] impressive debut collection

Gwendolyn Smith, i

A luscious debut . . Qureshi is a dab hand at yanking the rug out from under the reader. Her immersive, poignant stories - written mostly in understated prose - often have a sting in the tale . . I fell for this lyrical, moving collection and the woozy intensity that infuses many of its stories. Qureshi creates gripping plotlines and vividly drawn characters and - most importantly - she is a writer with something to say.

Terri-Jane Dow, Mslexia

Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love is a collection full of secrets and yearnings, the gaps and silences found so often in misunderstandings and miscommunications. These stories work to fill those gaps, creating found families and belonging, and showing the sides of ourselves others rarely see . . . Qureshi's writing conveys the emotions her characters cannot . . . Each story is tightly written and closely edited, ending at the perfect moment . . . Exploring different relationships - mother and daughter, friendships, young love, spouses - Qureshi pulls apart the emotions surrounding each one, making even the darker narratives relatable and evocative.

Brian Martin, Spectator

Huma Qureshi writes like a psychotherapist, considering, analysing, explaining, seeking outconflicts, evasions, and discomforts . . . The form suits her: she succeeds in a short space in describing her settings and defining her characters . . . there are notes of optimism that sound from true love; and, as always, amor vincit omnia.


A beautiful short-story collection . . . heartbreaking and hopeful.


One of the most talked-about short story books of last year.

Diana Evans, Evening Standard

[Qureshi] has a wonderfully luminous, understated style of writing

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Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love

"Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love" is a collection of short stories written by Huma Qureshi. The stories explore the complexities of intimate relationships and the secrets, misunderstandings, and silences that often haunt them. The collection delves into the dynamics between mothers and daughters, spouses, friends, and lovers. It takes place in various settings, including the English countryside, the Mediterranean, and the cities of London and Lahore.

The stories in this collection touch on themes such as longing, unspoken emotions, and the challenges of understanding and connecting with others. Huma Qureshi's writing is praised for its clarity, tenderness, and insight into the human experience. The stories are described as poignant, moving, and thought-provoking, with a mix of lightness and depth.

The collection has received positive reviews from readers and critics. It has been longlisted for prestigious literary prizes such as the Jhalak Prize and the Edge Hill Prize. Readers have praised Huma Qureshi's ability to capture the complexities of relationships and the emotions that surround them. The stories are said to be relatable, evocative, and beautifully written.

Overall, "Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love" is a compelling collection of stories that explores the intricacies of human relationships and the hidden aspects of ourselves that we often keep from those we love.

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Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love (2024)
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