Saleem Haddad, author of ‘Guapa’ (…) will be appearing in a series of events in New York City, including the Pen World Voices Festival of Literature. Event and ticket details below:

1. Tuesday, April 26 at 7:00 pm- Second Tuesday Lecture: Reading from Guapa, a presentation, and a Q&A. Event details here:

2. Thursday, April 28, 2016, 6:30pm- Literary Quest: Will be reading from Guapa, alongside other writers as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. Event details here:…

3. Saturday, April 30, 2016, 8:00pm- The Fictional Other. Will be appearing alongside Abdella Taia and Alexandre Vidal Porto in a panel discussion that is part of the PEN World Voices Festival. Event details here:…

Hope to see you there.

S x

About ‘Guapa’:

Named as one of Amazon’s top ten books of March 2016, and in the top 14 ‘most buzzed about’ books on Buzzfeed, Guapa tells the story of Rasa, a young gay man living in an unnamed Arab city, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. The day after being caught with his boyfriend by his grandmother, Rasa grapples with his sexual identity, the possible loss of both his grandmother and his boyfriend, and the arrest of his political activist best friend. Over the course of 24 hours, Rasa wanders the city, from the dark corners of its slums and prisons to its bright and lavish parties to the underground bars where outcasts drink to a long-lost revolution. As Rasa confronts the simultaneous collapse of political hope and his closest personal relationships, he is forced to discover the roots of his alienation and try to re-emerge into a society that may never accept him.

Praise for ‘Guapa’:

“Haddad maps postcolonial theory, post-revolutionary malaise, and post-outing upheaval onto your standard post-college, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life aimlessness, creating something wonderful and fascinating in the process.”- Book Riot.

“Those looking for a nuanced portrait of gay life in the modern Middle East will find plenty to admire in this … promising debut.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Haddad presents a striking look at gay life, the psychological cost of conformity, and what it means to be true to yourself from a Middle Eastern perspective.” —Booklist

“Warmly recommended to all readers who are interested in issues of diversity and the Middle East.”—Library Journal

“A remarkable debut.” —The Huffington Post

“Haddad’s unwavering dedication to detail, narrative arc, and consequence make Guapa necessarily poignant, uncomfortable, and meaningful. Like all good art, it moves beyond itself to shine a light on the world it bears.” —PopMatters

“Set in an unnamed Middle Eastern country across the course of one day, Guapa follows the story of Rasa, a young gay man who has been caught in bed with a boyfriend by his overbearing grandmother…Rasa exists against a backdrop of civil unrest, heavy-handed police and homophobia. Faced with the prospect of never seeing his lover again, the novel gives us an insight into how it feels to be in love in a society where that love remains strongly forbidden. ‘I dreamt of kissing his cheek, because it struck me that to kiss your lover’s cheek in public was quite ordinary,’ Rasa writes, sharing his painful desire and longing in a story that is equal parts romance and thriller. Through flashbacks, we learn of Rasa’s younger life; his parents deaths, his awakening sexuality, and his time studying in the U.S., where he is distrusted in the wake of terror attacks in the west. Saleem Haddad is London based, but in this novel he draws on his Middle Eastern heritage to paint a truthful image of the manifestations and perceptions of homosexuality within Arab culture. His background as an aid worker, and in assisting refugees from the region, only further enhances his understanding of the wider problems he discusses; notably the fallout from the Arab Spring, and the rise of Islamic extremism. Guapa sets Haddad up as a literary voice capable of narrating untold stories of the modern gay experience, from one of the most complicated parts of the world.”—Attitude Magazine

“Guapa shines beautifully in its moments of sweetness and satire.” —Full Stop

“By turns politically nuanced and romantically tender.” —Next Magazine

“An engrossing and timely debut novel by a provocative new voice. Haddad’s characters are unforgettable.” —Randa Jarrar, author of A Map of Home