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Post-Ramadan Reads: Diving into the World of Muslim Authors

By Nadia Shah and Yumna Iqbal

Following the observance of Ramadan and the festive celebrations of Eid, consider delving into the diverse world of literature crafted by Muslim authors. From stirring accounts of resilience to thought-provoking reflections on faith and identity, we bring to you a curated selection of books, offering gripping narratives and profound insights into diverse cultures and experiences.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir is a gripping narrative that delves deep into the intricate lives of its characters. Tahir's narrative shines through as she intricately weaves together the stories of Misbah, Salahudin, and Noor, offering a poignant exploration of love, loss, and redemption within a Pakistani immigrant community.

Set against the backdrop of the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel in Juniper, California, Tahir's tale unravels with heartbreaking realism. Misbah's struggles to keep the motel afloat amidst familial turmoil, Salahudin's battle to salvage his family's legacy, and Noor's pursuit of freedom from her oppressive uncle's grasp paint a vivid picture of resilience in the face of adversity.

Tahir's eloquent prose not only captivates but also tackles sensitive topics with grace and authenticity, from abuse to prejudice. The incorporation of music as a coping mechanism adds depth to the narrative, enhancing its emotional resonance. In All My Rage, Tahir delivers an exploration of the human experience, earning it our enthusiastic recommendation to readers seeking a profound and moving literary journey.

As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh

As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh immerses readers in the tumultuous landscape of the Syrian Revolution, following the journey of Salama Kassab, a hospital worker torn between duty and survival. Katouh explores the emotional turmoil of war, portraying Salama's struggles with haunting hallucinations and the constant threat of violence.

The characterisation is compelling, particularly with Khawf, Salama's hallucinatory companion, whose complexity adds depth to the narrative. Katouh's portrayal of morality amidst chaos is nuanced, with no clear delineation between good and evil, fostering reader engagement and reflection.

While the novel effectively captures the social impact of war, some reviewers criticise the rushed ending, which detracts from the otherwise immersive storytelling. However, the book's powerful depiction of resilience and hope amidst despair resonates deeply.

Overall, As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow is a poignant portrayal of the Syrian Revolution, urging readers to confront the harsh realities of conflict and injustice. Katouh's confident writing style and poignant storytelling make this a compelling read for anyone interested in war novels.

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Inspired by the classic romcom You’ve Got Mail, Jalaluddin’s novel is a fun, easy to read story of food, family and love.

Hana’s family-owned restaurant is famous for one thing: biryani poutine. But sales are dwindling, and it doesn’t help that a new, flashy restaurant has opened up nearby, bringing their foreseen closure imminently. She turns to her sole dedicated listener on her anonymous podcast for advice. Between navigating how to save her family’s restaurant, dealing with the aftermath of a hate crime in her neighbourhood, and her growing attraction for the rival restaurant’s owner Aydin (who seems oddly familiar), Hana Khan has lots on her plate, but she always carries on.

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

Nominated for the Goodreads’s Best Young Adult Fiction in 2019, Ali’s novel tells the story of Adam and Zayneb, two contrasting individuals forced to play roles for others, and how their lives intricately become weaved together. 

After Zayneb is suspended for challenging her teacher’s Islamophobic beliefs, she decides to visit her aunt in Qatar, to escape to somewhere where nobody knows her. But here, her paths cross with Adam, who has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and desperately tries to hide it from his grieving family. 

They both have strict barriers put up not only to protect those around them, but to protect themselves. Despite these barriers, they find that only they can both truly see and understand one another for who they really are. 

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The first of The Daevabad Trilogy, Chakraborty’s fantasy novel expertly weaves mythology and history into an addictive tale.

Told during 18th century Cairo, Nahri, an adept con woman, has never believed in magic, not until she accidentally summons a crafty djinn warrior. Now, she has to accept that magic may in fact be real, and not just an idea to make tales from her childhood more interesting. The djinn tells her of the faraway city of brass; known as Daevabad. A place filled with things that she never believed to be real until she finds herself bound to it.

Upon entering this strange new world, she learns that magic is not at all like what it was made out to be when she was younger, instead it is a world engulfed in violence and schemes for power. And now Nahri is a part of this world, she has to use her skills to protect not only herself, but the city she finds herself tied to. 



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