Brown Don't Frown Podcast

Season 3: Ep 29 - Why Queer South Asian storytelling matters

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Episode notes

Today we’re joined by Adiba Jaigirdar, author of Young Adult fiction books The Henna Wars, and Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating. She shares with us her journey from Bangladesh, to Saudi Arabia to Ireland, her sense of identity and belonging, and her motivations for writing. 


As a Queer Brown author, whose books are about Queer Brown girls, I ask whether she had any challenges with finding an agent who she could trust to represent her and her written work. Adiba talks about personal influences and experiences which inspired the main characters in her books and what she learned about herself when bringing her characters to life. The main character, Nishat in Henna Wars, stays true to herself in the face of resentment from her family after she comes out as a Lesbian and Adiba explains what she hopes Queer teens and young Women of Colour will take away from such themes in the book.


Adiba also tells us a bit about her second novel, Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating, which comes out this summer. As a newly published author, Adiba shares some advice for aspiring Queer novelists from the South Asian, and particularly Bangladeshi, diasporas. Finally, we leave you with our gripes about mainstream feminism and thoughts on reclaiming and reframing its narrative to be inclusive of Muslim women, the Queer space, and especially Queer Women of Colour. 

You can follow Adiba on Twitter @adiba_j  and Instagram @dibs_j.