Guapa by Saleem Haddad

Guapa

Saleem Haddad

A beautifully written ‘coming out story’ set in the Middle East during the Arab Spring. I found this really easy to read and absorbing from start to finish.

Extract

The morning begins with shame. This is not new, but as memories of last night begin to sink in, the feeling takes on a terrifying resonance. I grimace, squirm, dig my fingers in my palms until the pain in my hands reflects how I feel. But there is not controlling what Teta saw, and her absence from my bedside means that she doesn’t intend, as she had promised, to file away last night’s mess in a deep corner of her mind.

Parallels
  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwood
  • Pomegranate Sky by Louse Soraya Black
  • Baumgartner’s Bombay by Anita Desai

Books with similar mood

The Informer

Akimitsu Takagi

Revenge of the Middle-aged Woman

Elizabeth Buchan

Lovesong

Alex Miller

A Little Stranger

Kate Pullinger

The House on Paradise Street

Sofka Zinovieff

Island of Wings

Karin Altenberg

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

Ann Weisgarber

This Side of Eternity

Rosalyn McMillan

The Golden Door

Kerry Jamieson

Still Life

Louise Penny

Luke and Jon

Robert Williams

Missing Nancy

Carolyn Lewis

Nelson's Daughter

Miranda Hearn

The Angry Gods

Wendy Brandmark

The Saving Graces

Patricia Gaffney

Dancing to Almendra

Mayra Montero

Skinjob

Bruce McCabe

Unexploded

Alison MacLeod

Voice of America

E C Osondu

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips

Sweet Offerings

Chan Ling Yap

Upstairs in the Tent

Cynthia Rogerson

Silences from the Spanish Civil War

Jane Duran

The Memory Game

Nicci French

The End of Innocence

Moni Mohsin

The Words in my Hand

Guinevere Glasfurd

The Happiest Days

Cressida Connolly

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

Anthony & Ben Holden (eds)

How to Read the Air

Dinaw Mengestu

The Very Thought of You

Rosie Alison

To My Daughter in France

Stephanie and Barbara Keating

No Christian Grave

Edmund Power

Academy Street

Mary Costello

Benediction

Kent Haruf

Breathing on Glass

Jennifer Cryer

The Island Walkers

John Bemrose

The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra

The Passion of Artemisia

Susan Vreeland

Hey Yeah Right Get a Life

Helen Simpson

Pears on a Willow Tree

Leslie Pietrzyk

River, Cross My Heart

Breena Clarke

Daniel Isn't Talking

Marti Leimbach

The Calligrapher's Daughter

Eugenia Kim

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

Twenty-One Locks

Laura Barton

After River

Donna Milner

The Artist of Eikando

Linda Lee Welch

Light Falling on Bamboo

Lawrence Scott