Hello everyone! Today I am sharing a recommendation post as apart of the Home Is Not A Country blog tour hosted by Qamar Blog Tours. Please check out the schedule, book, and author information below!
Why I recommend Home Is Not A Country
- The Rep: As a Muslim reviewer, it is always such a delight to read about books with Muslim rep written by Muslim authors. I could really feel Nima’s relationship with Allah as well as her culture. Nima talked about her culture so fondly, as well as her mothers relationship to their culture. I love when authors incorporate such storylines!
- The Writing Style: Nima’s voice doesn’t start out strong in the beginning. As the story goes on, the reader gets lost in Nima’s words. I was eager to hear her talk about her mother, her childhood friend, her culture and Islam. Safia knows what she was doing by writing the book as such. It’s truly brillant!
Nima doesn’t feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her white suburban town, which feels both dangerous and familiar. At least she has her childhood friend Haitham, with whom she can let her guard down and be herself.
Until she doesn’t. As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn’t give her at birth: Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might just be more real than Nima knows. And more hungry.
This book is a story of mothers and daughters, of friends and enemies, of journeys and homecomings, and of realizing that sometimes the person you’re meant to be has been staring at you in the mirror all along.
SAFIA ELHILLO is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award, and Girls That Never Die (forthcoming from One World/Random House 2021). Sudanese by way of Washington, DC, she holds an MFA from The New School, a Cave Canem Fellowship, and a 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Safia is a Pushcart Prize nominee (receiving a special mention for the 2016 Pushcart Prize), co-winner of the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30. Safia’s work appears in POETRY Magazine, Callaloo, and The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day series, among others, and in anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and The Penguin Book of Migration Literature. Her work has been translated into several languages, and commissioned by Under Armour, Cuyana, and the Bavarian State Ballet. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019). She is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and lives in Oakland.
Instagram: Safia Elhillo • صافية الحلو (@safiamafia)
Twitter: Safia Elhillo (@mafiasafia) / Twitter