Probing Interpersonal Dynamics: A Thematic Analysis of Kamila Shamsie's 'Best of Friends'


  • Mamoona Tabassum Superior Group of Colleges, Mandi Bahauddin– Punjab, Pakistan
  • Amna Zafar The Learning Hub, Gujranwala – Punjab, Pakistan
  • Saleha Bilal Lahore Leads University, Lahore – Punjab, Pakistan


Friendship Dynamics, Thematic Elements, Qualitative Analysis, Best of Friends, Kamila Shamsie


This research scrutinizes Kamila Shamsie's novel, “Best of Friends”, authored in September 2022, employing a qualitative methodology and data analysis approach to discern major thematic elements. The study identifies five principal themes, encompassing ambivalence within friendships, societal norms and the suppression of desires, political and ethical decision-making, the construct of womanhood, and the motif of unhomeliness. This study applies Braun and Clarke's established six-phase thematic analysis framework (2006) to achieve its research objectives. The research expounds upon the interplay of these identified themes and their reverberations within the lives of the individuals central to the narrative, illuminating the intricacies that underpin the friendship between the main characters. Significantly, the analysis establishes a poignant connection between the novel's title, 'Best of Friends,' and the central theme of ambivalent friendships explored therein. This investigation not only advances comprehension of the thematic nuances within the novel but also underscores the depth and complexity of the issues it addresses. It serves as a foundational exploration, providing a springboard for future research on this recently published work and presenting a diverse array of narrative facets for scholarly inquiry.