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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > June 2019 > Coming of age and coming out

Coming of age and coming out

In her brave and sensitive memoir, Samra Habib writes about the

intersections of various identity nodes

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir

Samra Habib Viking Canada

IN HER DEBUT MEMOIR.auihor Sain ra I Iabib wri ies wiih lucicl iiy a ml sensory dep the, fialing care to mainiain ihe spccillcitjr of her experience wiihoui resoriing 10 cuhural ab solui es. WeHave AlwaysBeenHere tracés iheauihor’s diildhood ihrcugh herearlyaduli years. navi ga img muit iple spacesand klemii ics, fromher lea rs a nd ioys growing up as an A Innadi Mud i m in l’akcsiaii under President General Zia-ul-I laq

ihc complexiiy of her idenüiyas a queer Muslim in Canada. (iiven ihe extraordinary chaücnges she has encouniered, one mighi easily expevt biuernessin Hahih’sreielling. Ixii quiie ihcopposiieis the case - llabibwrites ihrough a lens ofcompassion, hope, and ever- wic leni ng c ircles of under siand ing

One ofihree daughters, 1 Iabib paims a rich picture ofher lifegrowingup in I’akisian. She mainiainsa diallenging bui loving rela (ionship with herfather, with vrhom sheshares apassion forarchitecturcandinieriordesign, lier motherappearsasa poriraiiofresilience and complex iiy: she manages 10 ihrowl Iabib a birthdaypariyevenasrioisbreakoui iu ihe lamily^ ncighbourhood.

llabib’s lalealsoresonaieswit h dierespon- sibiliiy of being a chüd ihmsiinio ihe posiibn of haring io grow up l’asi: when ihe family arrires inCanada, ii falls 10 herio communi- caie in l-ngl ish widi ihe naiional auihoriiies. Thisisaheartbreakinginsighi inio iheburdcn children carry when they become ihe go beiweens for iheir newly immigraied family - children musi iake on ihe role of speaking forparenis who, in their home countries, were ca|xible,doqueni,and apparenily ableio hai dleanysiiuaiion.

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Alix Ohlin The dual citizen returns. Meet the changing faces of romance fiction.