We are absolutely delighted to announce that a member of our inaugural Madeleine Milburn Mentorship scheme, Nigar Alam, will have her debut novel published in the US by Putnam in Summer 2023. Nigar secured one of six Mentorship places, following more than 1,500 applications, with her beautiful novel, Under the Tamarind Tree.

One night. Four friends. Countless secrets.

1964. Karachi, Pakistan.

Rozeena is running out of time. She’ll lose her home—her parents’ safe haven since fleeing India and the terrors of Partition—if her medical career doesn’t take off soon. But success may come with an unexpected price. Meanwhile the interwoven lives of her childhood best friends—Haaris, Aalya, and Zohair—seem to be unraveling with each passing day. The once small and inconsequential differences between their families’ social standing now threaten to divide them. Then one fateful night someone ends up dead and the life they once took for granted shatters.

2019. Rozeena receives a call from a voice she never thought she’d hear again. What begins as an ask to look after a friend’s teenaged granddaughter struggling with her own demons grows into an unconventional friendship—one that unearths buried secrets and just might ruin everything Rozeena has worked so hard to protect. 

Captivating and atmospheric, 
Under the Tamarind Tree shows us the high-stakes ripple effects of generational trauma, and the lengths people will go to protect the ones they love.

Born in Karachi, Nigar Alam spent her childhood in Turkey, Nigeria, Italy, Kenya, Indonesia and the United States before returning to Karachi. With an MBA and CPA, she has worked in both Brand Management and Auditing. Currently, Nigar teaches and lives with her family in Minnesota.