Kamila Shamsie (1973) is the author of five novels. The first, In the City by the Sea, was published by Granta Books in 1998 and shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her most recent novel, Burnt Shadows, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and translated into more than twenty languages. She grew up in Karachi and now lives in London. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a trustee of English PE N and a member of the Authors Cricket Club. ‘Vipers’ is an excerpt from a forthcoming novel.