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Historical Novel Gives Voice to Lesbian Muslims

Samar Habib’s “Rughum & Najda,” published by Oracle Releasing today, is the first novel to look at lesbian life in the Islamic Golden Age.

"Rughum & Najda"
"Rughum & Najda"
PRLog - Mar. 25, 2012 - LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles, California - “Rughum & Najda” is set in ninth century Baghdad, in the heart of the Islamic Golden Age. The novel, which resurrects the opulent palaces of the Abbasid dynasty with historical precision that can be so real you can smell the incense and taste the food at the Caliph's banquets, is between the two women in the title: Rughum, a devout Muslim woman, who slowly awakens to a passionate love for Najda, a woman versed in the world of magic.

The author is someone who’s qualified for this type of work. “I am a historian of Arab history and civilizations, and in my research I focus particularly on the lives of homosexual women in the Middle Ages and antiquity,” Habib says.

Some years ago she published a nonfiction book about the subject, but the lack of fictional narrative on the subject stood out to her.

“There has not been to date, a ficto-historical novel dealing with same-sex love among women set during the golden age of Islam,” she says, adding that she basis the story “on meticulous research and plausible narratives.”

The novel is part of several books planned by the publisher for the year with themes on LGBT Muslim and Arab community, including Rahal Eks’ second memoir, “Hussein & the Nomad,” which follows the writer’s life in Morocco in the 1990s; Ayub Sudiro’s “Tangram,” a novel that looks at Indonesian attitudes towards homosexuality; and Afdhere Jama’s “Queer Jihad,” which chronicles how LGBT Muslims are raising their voices in their communities.

“We want to make sure this type of literature is available,” said Leila Hosseini, who heads the books section of the company. “It’s unfortunate we live in a world where LGBT Muslims are denied their rights, but we believe literature is a good way to change the world.”

The book is available through several distributors around the world, including Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and the publisher, which holds worldwide rights, is in the midst of selling other languages.

Information about the book:

Paperback, 244 pages, 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
Publisher: Oracle Releasing (March 25, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983716110
ISBN-13: 978-0983716112

For more information, contact:
Oracle Releasing
E-mail: books@oraclereleasing.com
Phone: + 1 310 861 1692


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Source:Oracle Releasing
Location:Los Angeles - California - United States
Tags:Islam, Books, novels, lesbian, samar, Habib
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