Muslim Authors in Adult Fiction

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

From fantasy to literary fiction to romance, explore a wide range of stories of the Muslim experience in adult fiction.

  • The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi: A Novel

    2023 by Chakraborty, S. A.

    A thrilling fantasy series adventure featuring pirates and sorcerers, forbidden artifacts and ancient mysteries, and one woman's determined quest to seize a final chance at glory and write her own legend. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Afterlives

    2022 by Gurnah, Abdulrazak

    An epic yet strangely intimate novel about the country that became Tanzania during the first half of the 20th century. It is about war, colonialism, and economics, but also about the small acts of kindness that can change lives in any time period. And it is so very, very good. Suggested by Andrew.

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  • When We Were Sisters: A Novel

    2022 by Asghar, Fatimah

    A deeply personal, lyrical, and heartbreaking read that follows three orphaned Pakistani sisters who have to fend for themselves and grow up. Using vignettes and poetry, Fatimah has created a very intimate story about grief, family, sisterhood, and coming of age. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Good Intentions: A Novel

    2022 by Ali, Kasim

    In this thoughtful debut novel, Kasim tackles interracial relationships and their impact on a British Pakistani family while providing social insights and a slice of life of the British Pakistani community in Birmingham, UK. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Kismet: A Thriller

    2022 by Akhtar, Amina

    Health guru Marley Davenport persuades Ronnie Khan to leave Ronnie’s parental expectations and New York City’s insular Pakistani community for Sedona, AZ, home of the Kismet Center, “a one-stop wellness-o-rama place” for New Age groupies. A darkly humorous and engaging thriller. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Roses, in the Mouth of A Lion

    2022 by Rehman, Bushra

    A moving coming of age story set in 1980's Queens, NY. It focuses on the Pakistani American community and Razia Mirza's coming to terms with her identity. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Stardust Thief

    2022 by Abdullah, Chelsea

    A fast paced, magical fantasy quest story that is inspired by A Thousand and One Nights told in multiple points of view. It features magical artifacts, con artists, assassins, thieves, and the power struggle between humans and jinns. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Kamila Knows Best

    2022 by Heron, Farah

    A loosely inspired, South Asian twist on Jane Austen's Emma with an incredibly sweet, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers romance featuring nonpracticing Indian Muslim characters. A great mix of self discovery, humor, and a swoony yet low-steam romance. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Blackwater Falls

    2022 by Khan, Ausma Zehanat

    The murder of a Syrian refugee teen brings detective Inaya Rahman, who carries psychological scars from her previous job in Chicago, to an outlying town in Denver, where the immigrant Muslims who work in the local meatpacking plant have plenty of reason not to trust the authorities. Suggested by Andrew.

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  • Brother Alive: A Novel

    2022 by Khalid, Zain

    A multilayered, nonlinear narrative featuring three adopted brothers who are raised by an imam in Staten Island, NY. As the trio reaches adulthood, lifelong mysteries begin to unravel. Library Journal raves, "Blisteringly intelligent, bursting with profound feeling, and host to some of the most complex, necessary characters in recent memory." Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Shubeik Lubeik

    2022 by Muḥammad, Dīnā

    Winner of Best Graphic Novel and the Grand Prize at the 2017 Cairo Comix Festival, this debut graphic fantasy novel explores the complexities of Egyptian culture and what happens when magic meets corporate corruption and bureaucracy. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Return of Faraz Ali

    2022 by Ahmad, Aamina

    A multifaceted literary mystery about police officer Faraz Ali, who is investigating not only the death of a young woman, but also his own identity in the political turmoil of Pakistan in the late 1960s–early 1970s. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Arsonists' City

    2021 by Alyan, Hala

    This Lebanese-Syrian family saga is rich with culture, history, and complicated yet flawed characters. I found it to be sad, joyful, and very hard to put down. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The House of Rust: A Novel

    2021 by Bajaber, Khadija Abdalla

    A richly layered coming of age novel steeped in magical realism and Kenyan folklore. It features Aisha, who has to choose between following her grandmother's wish of being married safely or pursuing a life full of adventure. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Fortune Men

    2021 by Mohamed, Nadifa

    Short listed for the Man Booker Prize and inspired by true events, this book takes a searing look into the racist and corrupt legal system in Britain after Mahmood Mattan, a young Somali sailor, is accused and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Homeland Elegies: A Novel

    2020 by Akhtar, Ayad

    Is it fiction or nonfiction? Or is it a collection of essays? I'm happy with calling it autofiction, and a stunning one at that. Ayad Akhtar's second "novel" zeroes in on what it's been like to be a Muslim American post 9/11 and all the challenges that's entailed. It's a raw, brilliant, complex, and stunning work of art. Suggested by Chris.

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  • The Thirty Names of Night: A Novel

    2020 by Joukhadar, Zeyn

    A complex and exquisite story of visibility, being, and belonging. I found both narratives equally compelling. While the story lines are written in the unusual second person and addressed to another character, it did not deter me from connecting to the characters. I read these two story lines as confessionals that are much easier told to another person than to yourself. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • This Green and Pleasant Land

    2020 by Malik, Ayisha

    Tasked to uphold his mother's dying wish to build a mosque in his village, Bilal Hussain is facing an uphill battle. Community, friendship, identity, and prejudice collide in this witty and overall uplifting story. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • God in Pink: A Novel

    2015 by Namir, Hasan

    In the violent aftermath of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, an engineering student facing societal pressure to marry a woman forces a sheikh to reexamine his own beliefs about religion and sexuality. Winner of the Lambda Literary Award. Suggested by Andrew.

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