As Muslims around the world gather to celebrate Eid later this week, we thought it would be the perfect time to read some of interesting poems, stories, and novels members of the South Asian Muslim community have released in recent years.
From a new series featuring an aspiring basketball star to a much-anticipated collection of poetry, we’ve rounded up titles that span both genres and regions.
Power Forward by Hena Khan
Zayd Saleem wants to be the first Pakistani-American kid to make it to NBA. There are just a few things in his way. For one, he’s still in the fourth grade and his parents would rather he spend his time practicing violin. The other problem is that his small size means that he’s only on the D-team, while his best friend is on the Gold Team, which is the best team in the system. Hena Khan’s new series follows Zayd as he navigates his family’s desires and his dream of trying out for the Gold Team.
Get your copy of this middle grade novel here.
What is Not Beautiful by Adeeba Shahid Talukder
When she won the Kundiman Poetry Prize last year, Adeeba Shahid Talukder was praised for the “beauty and urgency” of her work, which blends Urdu poetic traditions with her experiences as a second generation American. Later this month, Talukder will release her chapbook “What is Not Beautiful,” a collection of poems about looking for love, discovering beauty and the poet’s reflections on her coming of age.
Pre-order this poetry collection by heading to Glass Poetry Press.
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Recently released in paperback, the young adult novel “Saints and Misfits” was dubbed a modern day, Muslim ‘My So-Called Life’ story when it first hit shelves. Ali introduces us to Janna, a hijabi teen who is navigating high school, life after her parents’ divorce and a world that seems to be filled with saint-like people and misfits like herself. Janna also has a secret, one that requires her to do everything in her power to avoid a teen at her mosque that everyone but her is convinced is a community leader.
Grab your copy today.
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama
We’re closing out this list with a 2009 novel that’s been called a charming comedy. “The Marriage Bureau for Rich People” centers around Mr. Ali, a retired man with too much time on her hands who is then inspired to start the aforementioned bureau. When both the popularity of his business and the challenges of finding perfect matches for his clients grow, he hires a smart young woman named Aruna. While Aruna proves to be just what the bureau needed, she expects that her lack of dowry means that she’ll never marry herself. But both the bureau and fate have different plans.
You can order your copy here.