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The Hijab Files

80 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published May 2018
ISBN 9781925336658

The Hijab Files

Maryam Azam

Maryam Azam’s debut collection takes the significance of the hijab as its focus of attention. Though shamed and angered by the prejudice towards Muslims the scarf arouses, Azam is also aware of its sensuality and allure, and the power and protection it offers. In ‘A Brief Guide to Hijab Fashion’, ‘Miss Khan Takes off her Hijab’ and ‘Places I’ve Prayed’, she reflects on the rich possibilities of the scarf, the moral values it embodies, and the commitment required to maintain these values in a secular society. In the second section, ‘Wallah Bros’, she examines the tensions young Muslims experience when negotiating the technology of modern dating. The poems in the final section, ‘The Piercing of this Place’, are alert to the presence of spiritual forces in the world, and open on to the larger dimensions of time and space, to mystery and the prospect of death. Azam’s style is simple and direct, and informed with humour: it frames as it reveals, asserting the dignity of ritual and observance in everyday life.

Azam’s voice is engaging, potent and full of wry humour as she negotiates the challenges of her own culture and of maintaining her religious observances… The Hijab Files is a most necessary book for our times. Judith Beveridge

About the Author

Maryam Azam

Maryam Azam is an Australian-born Muslim millennial who lives and works in Western Sydney. She graduated with Honours in Creative Writing from Western Sydney University and holds a diploma in the Islamic Sciences. Her debut poetry collection, The Hijab Files, was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Award (2019).

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