Emma Watson picks Saqi title for feminist book club

News - Books Thursday, 03 January 2019

Harry Potter star chooses The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write edited by Sabrina Mahfouz for Our Shared Shelf

Watson’s feminist book club called the book an 'empowering anthology of essays, poems, opinions and stories … In the face of Brexit, media misrepresentations, documented intolerance and violent acts of Islamophobia around the world, we are honoured to be able to amplify these diverse voices of British-Muslim women who inspire us with their insight, passion and experience.'

The Things I Would Tell You, selected as the January/February pick, will be the book club’s twenty-fifth read, following previous titles by Reni Eddo-Lodge, Angie Thomas, Margaret Atwood, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and Rupi Kaur.

Sabrina Mahfouz, editor of The Things I Would Tell You, said: "This is a brilliant start to the New Year! Our Shared Shelf and Emma Watson have done so much to bring many important books to a wide audience and it’s a real honour for The Things I Would Tell You to now be selected. The conversations arising from the book are very close to my heart and should be meaningful to all of us. These voices need to be heard everywhere, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than by drawing in readers - from all ages and backgrounds and from across the world - via the book club’s forum."

Lynn Gaspard, publisher at Saqi Books, said: "I’m thrilled for Sabrina and all the brilliant writers published in The Things I Would Tell You. This sensual, humorous, touching and ultimately empowering collection was the first to depict British Muslim women’s multifaceted identities. It provides a vital glimpse into the lives of the unheard. It’s a book everyone should be reading, and we’re over the moon to be working with Our Shared Shelf."

Our Shared Shelf began its bi-monthly selection of reads in January 2016. Watson, who is a Women Goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, describes her vision for the book club as focusing on reads "about equality", citing the forum as a space where she can "share what I’m learning and hear your thoughts too."

Published by Saqi Books in April 2017, The Things I Would Tell You is described by Saqi Books as 'a collection of writing that blows away the narrow image of the "Muslim woman". From established literary heavyweights to emerging spoken word artists, contributors include Kamila Shamsie, Ahdaf Soueif, Leila Aboulela, Imtiaz Dharker and Hanan al-Shaykh. The Things I Would Tell You was a Guardian Best Book of the Year 2017 and is currently shortlisted for London’s Big Read.'

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