Rethinking Muslim narratives: Stereotypes reinforced or contested in recent genre fiction?

Claire Gail Chambers, Sairish Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the challenges British Muslim writers and
publishers face in a largely secular literary marketplace and
a society marked by Islamophobia. It explores their publication
experiences, analysing examples from industry diversity initiatives
and from conducting interviews with authors. Arguing that dis- 10
torted representations strip Muslims of their complex humanity,
while more nuanced portrayals can humanize them without resorting
to stereotypes, we analyse the thrillers East of Hounslow (2017)
by Khurrum Rahman and Take it Back (2019) by Kia Abdullah. The
article provides unique insights into the publication tactics of 15
Muslim-heritage writers while also demonstrating genre fiction’s
potential as a powerful tool for promoting diverse narratives and
challenging stereotypes. It concludes that genre fiction’s popularity
and accessibility can help expand readership beyond literary circles
and provide a wider audience for diverse stories that might other- 20
wise go unheard in mainstream publishing, thus contributing over
time to a more inclusive literary landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Early online date2 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2023

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© 2023 The Author(s).

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