In the Light of What We Know (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) was published to international critical acclaim and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Britain’s oldest literary prize, previous winners of which include Evelyn Waugh, Nadine Gordimer, Salman Rushdie and Cormac McCarthy. The novel won or was shortlisted or long-listed for other prizes; was included in numerous end-of-year lists of best books; and has been translated into many languages.
Zia is an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at New America and was appointed to the Michael & Nina Sundell and the James Silberman & Selma Shapiro Fellowships at Yaddo. In a varied career, he has worked as an investment banker, an anti-corruption activist, a financial services lawyer, and a human rights lawyer. Zia was born in rural Bangladesh, grew up in London on a council estate (social housing), and was educated in England, Germany and the United States.