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Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy Paperback – February 4, 2014

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Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy + Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women + Reclaim Your Heart
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a magnificent collection. It’s all here: love, loss, confusion, sex, and more than sex, that magical quest for intimacy. In short, what it means to be human: seeking, finding, losing, cherishing. A wonderful contribution to American Muslim narratives in their own voices.”
—Omid Safi, author of Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters

“This diverse and humane anthology documents what heartbreak and hilarity goes down (often in silence) in the American-Muslim community. It should also confuse government agents.”
—Ali Eteraz, author of Children of Dust: A Portrait of a Muslim as a Young Man
 
“Intimate and compelling, Salaam, Love is a glimpse of the emotional balancing act American Muslim men face as they navigate the demands of faith, family and their own hearts. A must-read.”
—G. Willow Wilson, author of Alif the Unseen

Salaam, Love
is an important book because it sheds light on a subject that is unknown and scary to many Americans: Muslim men and their relationship to love, sex, and intimacy. It’s a book that shows how similar we all are, how much we have in common, when there’s so much hate-based propaganda floating around about how different we all are. But beyond being an important book, it’s also a great read. Funny, sad, cool, hot, counterintuitive, and perhaps most importantly, sexy.”
—David Henry Sterry, author of Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent

While many of the tales end in marriage, none ignore the flaws and difficulties presented by romantic relationships. Throughout, there are men who lost love, lost themselves and found things they weren’t looking for, as well as those still searching. Whether read all together or in single doses, faith and love abound, and there is no shortage of entertainment. In the introduction, the editors write, ‘There’s nothing like a good love story to connect us to one another and also help satisfy our curiosity about the lives of others.’ This collection proves the honesty in that assertion.” —Kirkus Reviews

Simultaneously lighthearted entertainment and an important addition to public discourse around the place of Islam in America.… Indeed, the entire collection seeks to offer as much variety as possible, with stories reflecting a broad range of sexuality, ethnicity, religiosity, and romantic success. In this way, it pushes back against common cultural stereotypes of both Muslims and men, showing Muslims with a full range of ordinary American life experiences and showing men with tender and heartfelt emotions that they articulate beautifully. For insiders to the community, this work will prompt joyful recognition as well as thoughtful exploration of different experiences; for outsiders, it will counter one-dimensional negative images about American Muslims. For everyone it will be an insightful, thoroughly charming read.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Ayesha Mattu is a writer and international development consultant. She lives in San Francisco.

Nura Maznavi is a civil rights attorney, writer, and Fulbright scholar. She lives in Chicago.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807079758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807079751
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BrooklynBook on February 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
I had the opportunity to read a few of the essays and I was instantly hooked. First, the writers are brutally honest. They bare-all with depth and sensitivity, painting vivid pictures of the human experience. Second, the essays remind us that people of faith are just that ... people. They are people with desires and flaws and conflict and excitement and hurt and curiosity. So even those who seek to live by faith -- whatever that means for them -- still are people by design and still have to navigate what comes with being human.

Lots of people are talking about this book as a stereotype-breaking collection that will challenge people's (read "Non-Muslims") impressions about Muslim men. But it will also challenge the way that Muslims think about their own men. So whoever you are, go read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deonna Kelli Swaine on February 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Salaam, Love is an excellent and enjoyable read exploring love, lust, regret and loss from a group of men often denied the opportunity to speak from the heart. The editors bring in stories from the periphery, just like they did with Love, Inshallah, in giving space to alternative narratives from men of color, queer and gay love stories, and other voices marginalized in mainstream and Muslim societies. What makes Salaam, Love so beautiful is how much hope is served up in the collection. The book isn't just about the trials of faith, culture, family and companionship -- the anthology unveils the compelling ways the male gender views love and commitment. It is rare to read such unique, sincere stories from the world of men on the wonders of affection, Muslim or not. Salaam, Love, like Love, Inshallah, affirms that the universe really is on the side of love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hussein Rashid on February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
Really enjoyed this follow-up to Love, Inshallah. It's great to hear the emotional voices of men, and you get a good variety of those voices here. There are stories that still stick with me, and ones that are going to end up being used in my courses. Great compilation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a very quick and easy read. I recommend it for young adults and all ages above. It presents great conversation pieces for spouses/partners, friends & family, and community discussions, not to mention classrooms.

If you like this book, do not miss the opportunity to read the editors' original anthology, 'Love, InshAllah' which can also be found on Amazon (kindle and paperback).

A few things about this book were particularly powerful for me:

-The diversity, inclusiveness, and realness of experiences: people who were raised Muslim, converts, immigrants and ‘non-immigrants’, and people of various racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, degrees of religious practice, etc.
-This book challenges very core understandings and constructions of masculinity that in turn are used to justify patriarchy.

I hope the 50+ stories presented in both of these anthologies helps to challenge the monolithic narrative created and perpetuated around/about/by Muslims.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By NY Litchick on June 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
I read Love Insh'allah and was delighted to know the editors were producing a collection by Muslim men as well. These stories didn't disappoint. Varied, diverse stories by men from every walk of like and depicting with poignancy and honesty the challenges and joys of being male, Muslim and American. You won't find anything else like this essay collection. Strongly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Waheed Akbar on February 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the different authors and their experiences . This was a novel approach. Well diversified . Something which has not been written about the Muslim experience in the west.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tara Dorabji on February 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Salaam Love is an amazing collection that gives readers a rare and raw glimpse into the intimate side of Muslim American men's love stories. It was a little like eating candy, I couldn't stop myself from reading more. In particular, I really enjoyed some of the stories that went into the challenges of keeping a relationship together over the long haul--through sickness and even in one case working through the loss of a partner. It's an insightful, diverse and compelling collection filled with surprises, humor and the drive for human connection. Loved it and would definitely recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ownieRafia on March 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a well written and authentic account. I found it the accounts personal yet relatable to many of my friends in the Muslim community.
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