Sabrina Mahfouz (ed.) – The Things I Would Tell You (4 stars)

Sabrina Mahfouz (ed.) – The Things I Would Tell You

Outstanding collection of stories by British Muslim women, voicing their multifaceted identities

Written by women who all have a British identity and a Muslim heritage, this collection aims to offer an alternative to the narrow narrative of British Muslim identity and the perpetuation of crude stereotypes, described by Samira Shackle in one story as 'corner shops, jalfrezi, terrorism'. Within the mix of short stories, poems, memoir and plays are pieces exploring the frustration at the limited casting of Middle Eastern female actors, honour killings in Pakistan and the women using Islamic Tinder.

Stand out pieces in the collection include Kamila Shamsie's 'The Girl Next Door', a tale of competition and cameraderie between two women working at Kyoon TV and Aisha Mirza's 'Staying Alive Through Brexit', a criticism of white, middle-class liberal commentators that makes for a tough read.

The scope of the book is vast: in setting, style and experience. The facts, alternative perspectives, harsh realities and the breadth of geography within the collection doesn't just expose the extreme limitation of the depiction of British Muslims, it depicts and voices their multicultural, multifaceted identity.

Published on Mon 3 Apr by Saqi.

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