Mohammed Hanif is a Booker Prize rarity: he graduated as a pilot officer from the Pakistan Airforce Academy before abandoning a life in the skies for one in journalism and fiction.

Hanif’s journalism brought him to London, where he became head of the BBC’s Urdu service before moving back to Pakistan. A Case of Exploding Mangoes was his first novel, and he has gone on to write three more novels, as well as two plays and a screenplay about Karachi. He claims he might have stayed in the air force except for the fact that he was a ‘really bad’ pilot: ‘I was really good at take-offs, but you have to be able to land a plane safely, too.’

Mohammed Hanif

All nominated books

A Case of Exploding Mangoes