Queer Book Club: "Hijab Butch Blues" by Lamya H

A reading group focusing on literature through a queer lens, hosted monthly at Chicago’s premier bookstore for the LGBTQ community. Alternating between the “classics” of gay fiction and contemporary, historically underrepresented voices, we read to explore queer experience across literary genres and eras! Join us in a friendly discussion once a month! For questions about this book club, email us here!

This month the Queer Book Club will meet to discuss Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H! Join us on Tuesday, May 28th OR Wednesday, May 29th at 7:30pm!

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.

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.

Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir By Lamya H Cover Image
By Lamya H
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593448786
Availability: Available, order here for delivery or pickup.
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - February 6th, 2024

Event date: 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 - 7:30pm

Event address: 

Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657