The Search for Identity

March 2, 2018
DREW WILLIS FOR TIME FOR KIDS MAGAZINE

The Night Diary, by VEERA HIRANANDANI, tells the story of 12-year-old Nisha’s struggle to find her identity. The tale is told through a series of letters. It takes place in 1947, during a rocky period in India’s history called the Partition. Newly free from British rule, the country has split into two nations: India, which is largely Hindu, and Pakistan, which is largely Muslim. Tensions are high between Hindus and Muslims. Nisha, who is part Hindu and part Muslim, wonders: “Where do I belong?”

Hiranandani says the book is informed by her family. “My father and his family had to leave their home during the partition,” she told TFK. Like Nisha, Hiranandani’s parents have different cultural backgrounds. “A lot of people have multiple identities and wonder how they fit in, whether it’s in the world or in a classroom,” she says.