Author: Lamya H.
Publisher: The Dial Press
Rating: 5 stars
Read: June 2023
Thank you to NetGalley and Dial Press for providing Far Flung Readers with a free digital ARC.
A queer hijabi Muslim immigrant survives her coming-of-age by drawing strength and hope from stories in the Quran in this daring, provocative, and radically hopeful memoir.
– The Audacious Book Club on Hijab Butch Blues
Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H. (she/they) is an interesting read about one person’s journey with queerness and religion. I loved it. In this memoir, Lamya writes beautiful reflections on her identity, God, and family that I found relatable and poignant. The narrative arc follows Lamya through different parts of their life as reflected through various women from the Quran.
Through Lamya’s gorgeous writing, she shows how her relationship with religion gives her the freedom to apply lessons and themes from the Quran to her own life.
As someone who is personally not religious, I have ignorantly wondered how people are able to reconcile personal identity with religion when those two things seem to be at odds, at least from an outsider’s perspective.
Lama’s memoir opened my eyes and taught me that my own prejudices against religion have limited my view of the world. Lamya’s memoir is not only a beautiful self-reflection of the author’s journey but also an opportunity for non-religious people to understand a different point of view.
Lamya H. writes under a pseudonym, so their true identity is not known. I always find writing under a pseudonym to be fascinating, especially in this modern age when it seems most people are publicly and obsessively documenting their lives, feelings, and histories for the world to see.
Lamya cites the reason for the pseudonym in an interview with Marion Roach Smith, stating, “I think was a really, really good life decision, both because of what this country is like right now for people who are queer and people who are Muslim…being able to write this book anonymously really allowed me to be honest and vulnerable in ways that I just couldn’t have without that layer of protection.”
I’m glad Lamya put their work and life experiences out there in a way that felt right for them. I’m honored that I got to read their words in Hijab Butch Blues.
Should You Read It?
Overall, I highly recommend Hijab Butch Blues. It is a poignant, thoughtful memoir that is beautifully written.
Lamya’s prose is superb, making the vignettes and stories in this book all the more stellar.
You should read Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H. if you:
– Love memoirs with introspective themes
– Enjoy books that challenge preconceived notions and gender norms
– Want to support queer authors and read diversely
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