Love in a Headscarf
By Shelina Janmohamed
(Beacon Press, Paperback, 9780807000809, 272pp.)
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
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When Shelina Janmohamed, an Oxford-educated Muslim living in the bubbling ethnic mix of North London, opted for the traditional “arranged” route to finding a partner, she never suspected it would be the journey of her life.
Through ten long years of matchmaking buxom aunties, countless mismatches, and outrageous dating disasters, Shelina discovers more about herself and her faith. Along the way, she learns that sometimes being true to her religion means challenging tradition, while readers learn much about Islam that may surprise them.
Shelina Zahra Janmohamed is an influential commentator on British Islam: a columnist for EMEL magazine, a regular contributor to the Guardian and the BBC, and author of the award-winning blog, Spirit21. Named one of the UK’s hundred most influential Muslim women by the Times of London, Janmohamed lives in London.
“An Islamic spin on the ‘Looking for The One’ genre.”—Harper’s Bazaar
“A delightful memoir that celebrates spirituality, self-empowerment, female agency, and resistance to cultural (both ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’) dictates on women’s roles and identities.” —Randa Abdel-Fattah, author of Does My Head Look Big in This?
“What a fun glimpse into the courting rituals of a traditional South Asian British Muslim community! Janmohamed’s colorful and often humorous memoir shows us how those of another culture and religion might navigate the search for love, that most universal of themes. Perfect for the bedside table, but enlightening, as well.”—Sumbul Ali-Karamali, author of The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and that Veil Thing
“A gripping and enjoyable read.”—Leila Aboulela, author of Minaret
“With honesty and humor, Shelina Zahra Janmohamed navigates the complicated world of being a British Muslim woman in our modern society. Love in a Headscarf is a rich and full exploration of her choice to uphold her Islamic traditions, while maintaining her own identity in her search for love and spirituality. Along the way, Janmohamed enlightens readers and reminds us all of our common humanity, with, or without, a headscarf. A thoughtful and captivating read!”—Gail Tsukiyama, author of Street of a Thousand Blossoms
“A forthright, charming tale of unraveling the ‘overwhelming contradictions and tangles’ of identity.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Her journey is at times hilarious, but also a rare and fascinating insight into what it means to be a Muslim woman.”—The Good Book Guide
“There is also a lot that appeals to me about Janmohamed. She isn’t just out to get married; she works, buys a sports car, climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro, visits Egypt and goes on Hajj. I can definitely relate to the wanderlust…The book has many moments of wit, especially in relating the descriptions of the “buxom aunties” that set up matches…”
“Janmohamed weaves humor and emotion in her memoir as she enchants readers with tales of past suitors who didn’t make the cut...This is a beautiful, heartfelt memoir that gives insight into the depths of the author’s soul. It offers insight into her culture and its practices, while making it relatable to any reader."—Teen Voices
“Love in a Headscarf is a breath of fresh air in the genre of Islam-related non-fiction. Not only is it about Love, but it also exhibits a positive, uplifting and inspiring view of Muslim women. This is a godsend in a time when mass media is plagued with negative stereotyping and an overall misunderstanding of Muslim women.”—Azizah Magazine