Beneath all the blood and the smoke in Saleem Haddad’s debut novel Guapa lies an overwhelming shame. Haddad is game, though: “Eib in Arab societies is like a social code,” he says. Guapa, described in the Guardian as “immensely readable fluent, passionate and emotionally.
Thus begins Guapa, a debut novel by Saleem Haddad, on a gay man coming of age in an Arab city torn by a revolution-turned-civil war.
In his debut novel, Rasa, a young gay translator living in an unnamed Middle As someone who is both queer and Arab, I never saw myself.
A new wave of bleak, post-revolutionary fiction is emerging from writers grappling by a young gay Arab man whose friend has been imprisoned after a political revolt. Dystopian themes are not entirely new in Arabic fiction.
The novel, set over the course of 24 hours, explores the life of Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country. He works as a translator.