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

Claire 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 these authors’ publication experiences, analysing examples from industry diversity initiatives and from conducting interviews with authors. Arguing that distorted 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 Muslim-heritage writers while also demonstrating genre fiction’s potential as a powerful tool for promoting inclusive 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 storytelling that might otherwise go unheard in mainstream publishing, thus contributing over time to a more inclusive literary landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-299
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number3
Early online date2 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2023

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