Celebrate Eid ul-Adha: Books by Muslim Authors

Eid ul-Adha (‘Festival of Sacrifice’) is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar.  It remembers the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.  This year, Eid ul-Adha will begin on the evening of Monday 19 July and end on the evening of Friday 23 July.

To celebrate this important Muslim holiday we present a list of books by Muslim authors.  Their voices allow us a glimpse into the Muslim experience and are all  available to borrow  with your Livingston Library card.

The Bad Muslim Discount : A Novel by Syed Masood

Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 90s through to San Francisco in 2016, a comic novel about being Muslim immigrants in modern America.

The Beauty of Your Face : A Novel by Sahar Mustafah

A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face- to- face with a school shooter in this searing debut.

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

A novel that tells the story of Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? 

Bird Summons by Leila Aboulela

When Salma, Moni, and Iman–friends and active members of their local Muslim Women’s group–decide to take a road trip together to the Scottish Highlands, they leave behind lives often dominated by obligation, frustrated desire, and dull predictability.  When the women are visited by the Hoopoe, a sacred bird from Muslim and Celtic literature, they are compelled to question their relationships to faith and femininity, love, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Exit West : A Novel by Mohsin Hamid

In an unnamed city with strict social mores, young Nadia is a rebel, an atheist who chooses to live and work independently. In religious and unassuming Saeed she finds the perfect companion. As the two fall in love, their romance is tinged with a sense of urgency and inevitability as the city falls to militia, and basic freedoms and food quickly become rarities. When the situation turns dire, Saeed and Nadia decide to migrate as thousands already have and cobble together every last bit of their savings to find safe passage out. Caught in the whirlpool of refugees from around the world, Saeed and Nadia are tossed around like flotsam, the necessity of survival binding them together more than any starry-eyed notion of romance ever could.

God : a Human History by Reza Aslan

A reader-friendly overview of how God came to inhabit the minds and psyches of humanity, noting how, from the first go, people conceived Him (and Her) in their own images. Aslan calls this process of personification hardwired in our brains and is, thus, central to religion. At various points, he offers psychological analysis to bolster his theory. Aslan marches through history, beginning with ancient ancestors and including a stop to look at cave paintings. When organized religion comes into focus, Aslan describes how the concept of one god evolved from many gods.

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

A young woman juggles pursuing her dream job in radio while helping her family compete with the new halal restaurant across the street, in this rom-com.

Homeland Elegies : A Novel by Ayad Akhtar

A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.

It’s Not About the Burqa : Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race edited by Mariam Khan

 A compilation of essays written by 17 Muslim women from around the world. These stories cover everything from navigating the workplace as Muslim women, to misogyny within their individual Muslim communities and beyond, and the hijab and what it means for faith — all whilst challenging the notions of oppression, Islamophobia and misogyny.

Prey : Immigration, Islam, and The Erosion of Women’s Rights by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ali argues that waves of Muslim immigration are transforming sexual politics in Europe in ways that threaten to undermine the hard-won rights of Western women.

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

In what feels like a very personal debut novel, the award-winning poet Alyan, her lyrical skills on full display, traces four generations of the Yacoub family as they are forced into the ranks of the Palestinian diaspora. Constantly uprooted by war, Salma, Hussam, and their children Widad, Alia, and Mustafa make disparate decisions that have ramifications for their offspring over five decades.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World by Elif Shafak

In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila’s consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away …’ Our brains stay active for ten minutes after our heart stops beating. For Tequila Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory – growing up with her father and his two wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works.

The Thirty Names of Night : A Novel by Zeyn Joukhadar.

A remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by the truths they carry close to their hearts. 

Threading My Prayer Rug One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim by Sabeeha Rehman

This enthralling story of the making of an American is a timely meditation on being Muslim in America today.  It is also the luminous story of many journeys: from Pakistan to the United States in an arranged marriage that becomes a love match lasting forty-five years; from secular Muslim in an Islamic society to devout Muslim in a society ignorant of Islam, and from liberal to conservative to American Muslim; from bride to mother; and from an immigrant intending to stay two years to an American citizen, business executive, grandmother, and tireless advocate for interfaith understanding.

Unmarriageable : a Novel by Soniah Kamal

A retelling of the classic “Pride and Prejudice.”set in Pakistan. The Binat family endures a scandal that destroys their fortune and prospects for marriage. But Alys, the headstrong second oldest daughter, doesn’t care for marriage and is perfectly content in her singlehood.

We Are Not Here To Be Bystanders : A Memoir of Love and Resistance by Linda Sarsour

Women’s March co-organizer Sarsour shares how growing up Palestinian Muslim American, feminist, and empowered moved her to become a globally recognized and celebrated activist on behalf of marginalized communities across the country

When The Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi

When her happy middle-class life in Afghanistan is shattered by the rise of the Taliban and her husband’s murder by fundamentalists, former schoolteacher Fereiba embarks on a high-risk effort to escape to England with her three children.

A Woman Is No Man : A Novel by Etaf Rum

Three generations of Palestinian-American women in contemporary Brooklyn are torn by individual desire, educational ambitions, a devastating tragedy, and the strict mores of traditional Arab culture.

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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