A gay-lesbian book recommendation: Guapa by Saleem Haddad

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2epRXZ7.
At its best, “Guapa” deftly captures the surrealism both of living a double life and navigating the hall of mirrors within which a quasi-totalitarian regime encloses society.
A critic review (source Kirkus) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2epS2vF.
Those looking for a nuanced portrait of gay life in the modern Middle East will find plenty to admire in this flawed but promising debut.
A critic review (source Publishers Weekly) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2dy9z7k.
The topic of gay life in the Arab world is richly complex, and Haddad’s cinematic, evocative prose rises to meet the sensitive subject matter.

The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 447 ratings. See 98 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2epRYfD.

Book description from Google Books:
A debut novel that tells the story of Rasa, a young gay man coming of age in the Middle East   Set over the course of twenty-four hours, Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. Rasa spends his days translating for Western journalists and pining for the nights when he can sneak his lover, Taymour, into his room. One night Rasa’s grandmother — the woman who raised him — catches them in bed together. The following day Rasa is consumed by the search for his best friend Maj, a fiery activist and drag queen star of the underground bar, Guapa, who has been arrested by the police. Ashamed to go home and face his grandmother, and reeling from the potential loss of the three most important people in his life, Rasa roams the city’s slums and prisons, the lavish weddings of the country’s elite, and the bars where outcasts and intellectuals drink to a long-lost revolution. Each new encounter leads him closer to confronting his own identity, as he revisits his childhood and probes the secrets that haunt his family. 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.

Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2dy7qsk.


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