Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir


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A queer hijabi Muslim immigrant survives her coming-of-age by drawing strength and hope from stories in the Quran in this "raw and relatable memoir that challenges societal norms and expectations" (Linah Mohammad, NPR).

"A masterful, must-read contribution to conversations on power, justice, healing, and devotion from a singular voice I now trust with my whole heart."--Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed

WINNER OF THE BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY BOOK PRIZE - AN AUDACIOUS BOOK CLUB PICK - A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, Autostraddle, Book Riot, BookPage, Harper's Bazaar, Electric Lit, She Reads

When fourteen-year-old Lamya H realizes she has a crush on her teacher--her female teacher--she covers up her attraction, an attraction she can't yet name, by playing up her roles as overachiever and class clown. Born in South Asia, she moved to the Middle East at a young age and has spent years feeling out of place, like her own desires and dreams don't matter, and it's easier to hide in plain sight. To disappear. But one day in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam that changes everything: When Maryam learned that she was pregnant, she insisted no man had touched her. Could Maryam, uninterested in men, be . . . like Lamya?

From that moment on, Lamya makes sense of her struggles and triumphs by comparing her experiences with some of the most famous stories in the Quran. She juxtaposes her coming out with Musa liberating his people from the pharoah; asks if Allah, who is neither male nor female, might instead be nonbinary; and, drawing on the faith and hope Nuh needed to construct his ark, begins to build a life of her own--ultimately finding that the answer to her lifelong quest for community and belonging lies in owning her identity as a queer, devout Muslim immigrant.

This searingly intimate memoir in essays, spanning Lamya's childhood to her arrival in the United States for college through early-adult life in New York City, tells a universal story of courage, trust, and love, celebrating what it means to be a seeker and an architect of one's own life.

Author: Lamya H
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Dial Press
Published: 02/07/2023
Pages: 304
Weight: 0.97lbs
Size: 8.53h x 5.56w x 1.02d
ISBN: 9780593448762


Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 10/17/2022
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2023
Library Journal 01/13/2023 pg. 1
Shelf Awareness 02/24/2023
BookPage 02/01/2023

About the Author
Lamya H is a former Lambda Literary Fellow whose writing has appeared in Vice, Salon, Vox, Black Girl Dangerous, Autostraddle, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She currently lives in New York with her partner.

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