I believe that even a diverse and powerful genre like the novel is unable to adequately render all stories. Sometimes we have to revisit the ancient forms of storytelling from which the novel itself emerged.

The study of Urdu language's classical narrative genres—the masnavi, qissa, and dastan—which began with my work as a translator of Urdu epics, led to my employing these genres in my fiction. My new work The Merman and the Book of Power (2019) is written in the qissa genre, an ancient storytelling form common to the oral and written literatures of Urdu, Persian, and Arabic.

And earlier, shorter fiction, The Jinn Darazgosh (2010), was an experiment in the same form. A reviewer even confused it for a translation.