Contemporary Fiction by Muslim Women

The Other Americans

by Laila Lalami

Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of character. When the mystery of what happened to Driss Guerraoui unfolds, a family’s secrets are exposed, a town’s hypocrisies are faced, and love, in its messy and unpredictable forms, is born.

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A Woman Is No Man

by Etaf Rum

Three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn are torn between individual desire and the strict mores of Arab culture in this heart-wrenching story of love, intrigue and courage.

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Madras on Rainy Days

The books explores the life of Layla, a second generation Indian-American Muslim. Layla, torn between clashing identities, agrees to her parents' wish for her to leave America and submit to an arranged marriage, Layla enters into the closed world of tradition and ritual as the wedding preparations get underway in Hyderabad.

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Three Daughters of Eve

by Elif Shafak

The book centers on a wealthy, middle-aged housewife, her childhood in Istanbul and her time as a student at Oxford University where she fell in love with a philosophy professor. It focuses on her categorizing her identity

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Marriage on the Street Corners of Tehran

by Nadia Shahram

At age twelve, Ateesh is forced into an arranged marriage with an abusive man. When she objects, she is told that she "needs a man's name on her, to protect her." Rather than submit to the oppressive control of another man, she decides to use men to gain independence from them.

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by Diana Abu-Jaber

Sirine is 39, never married, and living in Los Angeles. She has a passion for cooking and works in a Lebanese restaurant, while her uncle and her saucy boss, Umm Nadia, believe she should be trying harder to find a husband. One day Hanif, a handsome professor of Arabic literature, an Iraqi exile, comes to the restaurant. Sirine falls in love and finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about Hanif, as well as her own torn identity as an Arab-American.

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The Moor’s Account

by Laila Lalami

The imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America: Mustafa al-Zamori, called Estebanico. The slave of a Spanish conquistador, Estebanico sails for the Americas with his master, Dorantes, as part of a danger-laden expedition to Florida. Within a year, Estebanico is one of only four crew members to survive. As he journeys across America with his Spanish companions, the Old World roles of slave and master fall away, and Estebanico remakes himself as an equal, a healer, and a remarkable storyteller.

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The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf

by Mohja Kahf

Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy is growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes. Along with her brother Eyad and her African-American friends, Hakim and Hanifa, she bikes the Indianapolis streets exploring the fault-lines between “Muslim” and “American.”

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Mount Qaf

by Müge Iplikci

Mount Qaf tells the story of a Turkish journalist, Emel, who is trying to track down Zahide, an old Pakistani friend she met while studying in the United States. In the course of her investigations, she finds out that Zahide has been arrested as part of the CIA rendition program and has in all likelihood been given a new identity in a clandestine program

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Ayesha At Last

by Uzma Jalaluddin

Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and her superficial cousin, Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family.

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The Bird King

by G. Willow Wilson

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, a concubine and Hassan’s best friend, befriends one of the women, not realising that she will see Hassan's gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule.

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by Sara Allen

When Caryn Blake, a prominent, black litigation expert, walks in on her cheating husband entertaining his latest girlfriend, she goes a little crazy. The betrayal is too much. However, revenge is bitter-sweet, especially when it’s taken too far.

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Embracing the Light:
Stories of Love and Forgiveness

by Yerusalem Work

A short story collection that inspires faith and embraces our interconnected humanity.

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Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit

by Lyndell Williams

Toni's risks wrecking her loving marriage to Marcus to get her way. Marcus will do anything to keep her from destroying everything and keep the passion between them burning.

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by Soniah Kamal

In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

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This Green and Pleasant Land

by Ayisha Malik

Accountant Bilal Hasham and his journalist wife, Mariam, plod along contentedly in the sleepy, chocolate box village they've lived in for eight years. Everything turns upside down when, in her dying moments, Bilal's mom instructs him to go home to his village, Babbels End, and build a mosque. The villagers are outraged.

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Graham's Delicacies

by Mina Waheed

Six people and three love stories all in one bakery.

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The Pact We Made

by Layla AlAmmar

The Pact We Made tells the story of Dahlia who is staring down the barrel of her thirtieth birthday, the age when a Kuwaiti woman from a good family is past her prime marrying years. Dahlia straddles two worlds: one in which she’s a modern woman living in a modern city, and another where she can’t have male friends, or leave the country without her father’s consent.

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The Map of Salt and Stars

by Jennifer Zeynep Joukhador

This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart--a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker--places today's headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

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A Place for Us

by Fatima Farheen Mirza

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made.

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The Family Tree

by Sairish Hussain

Described as “the moving story of a British Muslim family – full of love, laughter and resilience, as well as the faults, mistakes and stubborn loyalties which make us human”, Sairish’s book explores social and political as well as domestic themes.

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The Beauty of Your Face

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.

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