Study Guide

Mrs. Saadia Khan in Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

By Helen Simonson

Mrs. Saadia Khan

Mover and Shaker Khan

Mrs. Saadia Khan, who is related to Amina and George, is in charge of the decorations for the party. She is introduced to Grace and the Major by Mrs. Ali's close friend, Mrs. Najwa Rasool. Mrs. Rasool is the "toughest businessperson" (9.5) Mrs. Ali knows and is "happy to accommodate" (9.43) the bland palate of the residents of Edgecombe St. Mary. That's sweet, we guess.

Mrs. Khan, on the other hand, is manipulative and classist, and the only reason she agrees to help is to finagle her way into society's good graces. She thinks Dagenham's plan to sell out the village is "a clever idea" (16.128) because she can now buy her way to a higher social position. On the one hand, we feel bad for her, because the only reason she isn't included is probably because of her brown skin. But on the other hand, she's even snobbier than the white ladies already in the Garden club, so it's hard to really care much for her.