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10 Incredible Books by Female Muslim & BME Authors

Happy National Storytelling Week!

Storytelling Week takes place this year from 29th January – 4th February 2024. The week embraces storytelling as a powerful form of entertainment, inspiration, and art. To emphasise the importance of a culture that shares stories to build connections, the Amina MWRC team has compiled a list of incredible stories by female Muslim & BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Authors.

All authors listed are pro-Palestinian and not on any boycott lists. 🍉 Read on to find the perfect recommendation for you!

For Fantasy Readers:

1. The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea Axie Oh

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

Drawing on Korean mythology, Axie Oh’s story is an enchanting feminist tale about a young woman named Mina. Mina’s homeland is regularly struck by natural disasters attributed to the Sea God. Each year, her town gives a beautiful woman to the sea, in hopes that one will be the Sea God’s “true bride”, bringing an end to their torment. In a selfless moment to save her brother’s beloved, Mina hurtles herself into the depths of the sea. Soon, she finds herself swept into the Spirit World, brimming with secrets, and demons. Against all odds, Mina must find the Sea God and wake him from his slumber, to save her town and find her way back home.

This story is beautifully written and perfect for fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

2. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin – Roseanne A. Brown

Malik has eagerly anticipated the Solstasia Festival to escape his poverty-ridden town and start a new life with his sisters. But when he enters into a deal with the sinister Wraiths to kill the Crown Princess Karina, his plans go awry. Karina lures power-hungry contestants to the palace through a series of contests to prove their worth, and find the person worthy to rule by her side.

Filled with intricate world building, distinct Aladdin vibes, and a plot that keeps you guessing, this story is a treat for fantasy and romance readers alike!

3. A Tempest of Tea – Hafsah Faizal

A Tempest of Tea by Hafsah Faizal

Following the success of Hafsah’s debut duology, The Sands of Arawiya, A Tempest of Tea is getting all the talk on Bookstagram and Booktok – and for good reason! Described as Peaky Blinders meets Six of Crows, this story explores vampires, heists and conspiracies in a historical setting. Criminal mastermind Arthie uses her tearoom to host vampires. But when imminent threat falls, Arthie seeks out an alluring rival to infiltrate the depths of the sinister vampire court.

A Tempest of Tea releases on 22nd February, 2024. Hafsah Faizal is a mastermind storyteller so this story is sure to be worth the hype!

4. The Wrath and the Dawn – Renée Ahdieh

Based on the original Arabian Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is the story of Shaharzad, a brave woman from a small village. Each day, Khalid, the King of Khorasan takes a new bride, yet none lives to see the dawn the following day. Shaharzad is on a mission to avenge her best friend, so when Khalid comes to her village seeking a bride, she willingly volunteers.

While Khalid may be an intelligent King, Shaharzad is a cunning storyteller who knows how to keep herself alive. Weaving an enchanting tale each night, she not only survives, but also learns a dark secret that haunts Khalid and curses the entire Kingdom.

For Lovers of Historical Fiction:

5. An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in teh Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

In a harsh world inspired by Ancient Rome, Laia and Elias cross paths on their own missions. Laia is on a quest to save her brother who has been arrested for treason, and Elias is a soldier who secretly wishes to be free of the oppression within the Empire.

Soon, the two realise that their fates are linked, and that they are destined to change the Empire.

6. As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow – Zoulfa Katouh

As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh

Set in Syria during the Civil War, As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow is a beautiful yet devastating tale of love, loss, and hope. Once a pharmacy student, Salama Kasab now spends her days saving lives at a hospital in Homs. Caught between her duty to help people in Syria and her desire to live, Salama crosses paths with a boy from her past.

Together, the two must navigate their lives in a war-torn city, and find hope amidst the chaos.

7. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

Set in the Indian province of Kerala, this story centres around the lives of twins, Estha and Rahel. Alternating between their childhood and adolescent lives, The God of Small Things explores the dynamics of their family, social taboos, and consequences of breaking societal norms.

The rich tale delves into tragic events that shaped their upbringing, and the lasting impact these events have on their lives, traversing caste, forbidden relationships, and the impact of the past.

For the Muslim Romantics:

8. Love from A to Z – SK Ali

Love from A to Z by SK Ali

After an Islamophobic incident at her school, High School student Zayneb is suspended and sent to stay with her relatives in Qatar over the upcoming holidays. While on her travels, a chance encounter with a mysterious boy named Adam transforms her visit into the most profound and life-altering experience. Adam, who has recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, is keeping his diagnosis a secret from his father.

Together, the two navigate the marvels and oddities of their lives, and the unexpected romance that blooms. Despite having all the elements of an adorably authentic halal meet-cute about first love, this story explores deeper themes of health issues, racism, and islamophobia.

9. Courting Samira – Amal Awad

Set in Toronto, Samira is a 27-year-old Canadian-Palestinian woman who loves the Princess Bride and works for a Bridal magazine. Her parents are on a mission to find her a husband, subjecting Samira to a range of suitors, or as she calls them, “doorknock appeals”. When she runs into the charming Menem one day at a work retreat, Samira finds herself caught in an unexpected love triangle.

Entangled in the frenzy of her cousin’s wedding, a demanding job, and her parent’s imminent pressure to find her “the one”, Samira realises it’s time to take things into her own hands.

10. Finding Mr. Perfectly Fine – Tasneem Abdur-Rashid

A hilarious rom-com that against the vibrant backdrop of London, “Finding Mr. Perfectly Fine” follows the story of Zara, a British Bengali woman whose mum has given her a year to get engaged. Exposed to a barrage of marriage profiles, dating apps, and singles’ events, Zara begins to wonder whether Mr. Perfectly Fine has been in her midst all along.

This story is a fun, light-hearted read with distinct Bridget Jones vibes, an overarching theme of South Asian culture.

Have some books you would add to our list? Let us know in the comments below! 👇

Amina MWRC is a Scottish Registered Charity Organisation offering a free dedicated helpline service, employability support, creative wellbeing, and prevention of violence against women and girls projects. Our services are open to all Muslim & BME women in Scotland. Read our latest report on In-Law Abuse in Scotland here. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to find out more about our upcoming events!