We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Playing Games

Buy Now:

Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529368734

Price: £24.99

ON SALE: 9th November 2023

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Fiction: Special Features / Short Stories

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Huma Qureshi’s gorgeous first novel: a tender and intimate story of two sisters caught up in the joys and pains of art and family

‘Warm and moving . . . Playing Games thoughtfully and elegantly considers what it means to be a sister, a mother and a writer’
Chloë Ashby, author of Wet Paint

‘A riveting and evocative tale of two sisters navigating love, loss and desires’
Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past is a Foreign Country

The remarkable debut novel from critically acclaimed writer Huma Qureshi: a poignant story of art and sisterhood, family, marriage and betrayal

Hana has a perfect job, a perfect home, a perfect marriage. It is her younger sister Mira who is a mess. But Hana wants children and her husband is hesitating, and perhaps her control is slipping.

Mira dreams of a creative life but she’s stuck working at a local café. She hates her flatmate and Hana’s dismissal of her writing but she can’t find the right inspiration.

One night, a fight between Hana and her husband sparks something in Mira: the words ring in her head and she starts typing. But what can you borrow from your sister? And what can be forgiven?

Praise for Things We Do Not Tell the People We Love

‘Impressive’ Sunday Times

‘Intimate and incredibly insightful’ Stylist

‘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

(P)2023 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


Playing Games is a tender, beautifully nuanced portrayal of sisterhood, of family, love and loss. Huma Qureshi has a rare ability to perfectly capture the details that make up a life, full of raw and real emotion. I adored it.
Sara Nisha Adams, author of <i>The Reading List</i>
A riveting and evocative tale of two sisters navigating love, loss and desires
Zeba Talkhani, author of <i>My Past is a Foreign Country</i>
A warm and moving portrait of two women's desires, equally overwhelming, to create art and to become a parent. Playing Games thoughtfully and elegantly considers what it means to be a sister, a mother and a writer, as well as the fine line between truth and fiction and what happens when one brushes up against the other.
Chloë Ashby, author of <i>Wet Paint
Compassionate, thoughtful and thought-provoking
Haleh Agar, author of Out of Touch
I loved Playing Games. Huma Qureshi writes about relationships, whether it is sisterhood or marriage, with such tenderness that it will break your heart. She steers us through Hana and Mira's chaos with compassion and kindness. There were many instances when I wanted to give the sisters a huge hug, but at the same time, I wanted to shake them because they frustrated me so much. And you only do that with characters you deeply care about.
Sairish Hussain, author of The Family Tree
Playing Games is a poignant story about the complexities and beauty of the bond between sisters. Huma Qureshi lucidly examines the curdled emotions of family and illuminates the inner process of the writer. Reading Qureshi's crystal prose is a rare pleasure. I found Playing Games unputdownable.
Molly Aitken, author of <i>The Island Child</i>
A beautifully written debut
Red Magazine
A book full of raw emotion, tension and, ultimately, sibling love
Kirstyn Smith, My Weekly
A heartwarming tale of two sisters, and a bittersweet reckoning with what it means to make art; what we ask of and what we take from those we're closest to. Huma Qureshi is a writer with a beautiful lightness of touch
Lucy Caldwell, author of These Days
A moving, sensitive portrait of siblings caught between art, ambition and loyalty
The Bookseller
Qureshi brilliantly captures the complexities of sisterhood in this intimate novel
Joanna Finney, Good Housekeeping
Reading Huma Qureshi's Playing Games is a comfort. Familiar and tender, the characters are both relatable and infuriating, as only sisters are. It discusses art, love, family, and the large non-negotiable life decisions we all eventually face. For everyone who is a sister, has a sister, or wish they had a sister.
Jenny Mustard, author of Okay Days
With jeopardy that keeps you turning the pages, as well as both the acuity and tenderness for examining family and forgiveness, this is a gem of a novel
The i
A poignant tale of two sisters that illuminates the complexities of family ties
Harper's Bazaar
Poignant and impressionistic . . . highly readable and relatable . . . It is filled with hard decisions and harsh truths, but also the softer and more tender moments of life and familial love. Above all, sisterhood is front and centre.
Sana Goyal, Guardian
One of the best writers exploring family connections today
Jen Campbell, TOAST Magazine
This beautifully written novel dives into the complex dynamic between two very different sisters . . . This is brilliant on siblings, secrets and the art of storytelling. I loved it.
Sara Lawrence, Daily Mail
Observant, bluesy . . . an emotive meditation on the ethics of art and the resilience of family bonds
Hephzibah Anderson, Observer
Qureshi skilfully explores the dynamics of family bonds in this beautifully written novel
Jacqueline Ling, The i
Conflict, misunderstandings and a rueful acceptance of their sisterly differences fuel an emotionally engaging plot, but it's Qureshi's lambent prose that makes her novel such a radiantly honest read
Eithne Farry, Mail on Sunday