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Sagheer Afzal talks about his book at the London Book Fair
Victoria Pendleton, gold-medal Olympic cyclist, recommends The Reluctant Mullah in an interview with The Independent:
'A book that changed me... ... I also recently read The Reluctant Mullah by Sagheer Afzal. It was really eye-opening and took me on a rollercoaster of emotions.'
Costa First Novel award: the books that nearly made it
This is the book David Lodge might have written if he had been a British Muslim. A cracking set of characters (my favourite being a Confuscious-spouting, foul-mouthed but endearing Muslim builder) with Musa, recently kicked out of his North-London Madrasaha, and looking for true-love, being the most compelling and sympathetic. I felt I learned a lot about British Muslim life, not to mention aspects of the Koran that were surprising and accessible. A solid - and fresh - debut.
The Eastern Eye - click to read review
In a moment of idle curiosity, Musa tries on the modest garb of a Muslim woman to experience for himself what it’s like to be veiled. While this causes much mirth among his fellow students at the Madrasah, the elders are not amused, viewing Musa’s experimentation as a prank too far. In a moment of idle curiosity, Musa tries on the modest garb of a Muslim woman to experience for himself what it’s like to be veiled. While this causes much mirth among his fellow students at the Madrasah, the elders are not amused, viewing Musa’s experimentation as a prank too far.Back at home he must conform to family life and face the prospect of an arranged marriage. Cleverly, the family patriarch, Dadaji, offers him a deal: a month of days to find himself a bride or else Musa must accept Dadaji’s own choice.
And so the race is on for Musa, a devout Muslim and gentle idealist, who dreams of a perfect companion but despairs of ever finding her. When his siblings and friends step in to help, their efforts lead both to hilarity and outrage but soon the dark side of tradition rears its ugly head...
A brilliant debut.