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Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)


Full Title: Hijabistan

Author: Sabyn Javeri
Publisher: Harper Collins India

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

A young kleptomaniac infuses thrill into her suffocating life by using her abaya to steal lipsticks and flash men. An office worker feels empowered through sex, shunning her inhibitions but not her hijab ... until she realizes that the real veil is drawn across her desires and not her body. A British-Asian Muslim girl finds herself drawn to the jihad in Syria only to realize the real fight is inside her. A young Pakistani bride in the West asserts her identity through the hijab in her new and unfamiliar surroundings, leading to unexpected consequences. The hijab constricts as it liberates. Not just a piece of garment, it is a worldview, an emblem of the assertion of a Muslim woman's identity, and equally a symbol of oppression. Set in Pakistan and the UK, this unusual and provocative collection of short stories explores the lives of women crushed under the weight of the all-encompassing veil and those who feel sheltered by it.

About the Author: 

SABYN JAVERI is an award-winning short-story writer and a novelist. She is a professor of literature and creative writing in Pakistan. Her first novel, Nobody Killed Her, was published by HarperCollins in 2017.


There is a stereotype of Muslim women out there who wear the hijab, that they will be submissive doormats. I want to show a different side; I want the world to realise that they can be just as kick-ass and fiery, and full of agency though their idea of empowerment may not necessarily collide with yours… I have to say the cover gets more compliments than the book. And in this case I tell people, please do judge a book by its cover!
Writer Sabyn Javeri in Huffington Post


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