Campus Hosts Reading of “Love, InshAllah” Short Stories

Humboldt State University will host a reading of "Love, InshAllah, The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women," on Tuesday, Apr. 3 at 5 p.m. in the Library Fishbowl.

Ayesha Mattu (left) and Nura Maznavi are co-editors of a new collection of short stories, “Love, InshAllah, the Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.”

Co-editors Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi will read from their collection of 25 Muslim American writers. The contributors share the eternal search for love in their accounts of college flirtations, singles’ experiences, arranged marriages, sexual liaisons, same-sex relationships and erotic romances, among others.

“Love, InshAllah” has been featured on NPR and the BBC and in The New York Times and Washington Post. Critics have praised the stories for their unique voices, which express not only the sexuality of American Muslim women, but also “the universality of the human condition, especially when it comes to something as magical and complicated as love.”

Firoozeh Dumas, author of “Funny in Farsi” and “Laughing without an Accent,” says “Love, InshAllah” inspires women of all backgrounds “to claim ownership of their bodies, desires and dreams.”

Mattu is a writer, photographer and human rights consultant who resides in San Francisco. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, the International Museum of Women and the award-winning blog, “Rickshaw Diaries.”

A Chicago native, Mattu was named a Muslim Leader of Tomorrow in 2009 by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the American Society for Muslim Advancement, a New York-based non-profit founded in 1997 by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to foster religious harmony and interfaith connections between Muslims and the West.

Maznavi, born in Pittsburgh, is a writer, civil rights attorney and Fulbright Scholar who has worked with migrant workers in Sri Lanka. She was reared and lives in Los Angeles and has advocated on behalf of prisoners in California. She is at work on a screenplay and several short stories.

Mattu and Masnavi met over coffee six years ago in San Francisco and solicited love stories nationwide for their book. They received more than 200 submissions.

The April 3 reading is sponsored by the Humboldt State Library, the HSU MultiCultural Center and the Department of Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies. It is free and open to the public. Disability accommodations can be arranged at 707/826-5656.