A Guardian Best Book of the Year
A GQ Best Book of the Year
A New Statesman Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Polari First Book Prize 2021
Winner of the LAMBDA 2021 Literary Award for Best Gay Memoir/Biography
A Dutiful Boy is Mohsin's personal journey from denial to acceptance: a revelatory memoir about the power of love, belonging, and living every part of your identity.
Growing up in a devout Muslim household, it felt impossible for Mohsin to be gay. Unable to be open with his family, and with difficult conditions at school, he felt his opportunities closing around him. Despite the odds, Mohsin's perseverance led him to become the first person from his school to attend Oxford University, where new experiences and encounters helped him to discover who he truly wanted to be. Mohsin was confronted with the biggest decision he would ever make: to live the life that was expected of him or to live as his authentic self.
'Genuinely inspiring... Beautifully written, dignified and ultimately redemptive, this challenging story abounds with light and love' Attitude
The moving personal story of a gay Muslim's tribulations and triumphs at the interface of family, faith and freedom, told with great candour and eloquence.
An incredibly hopeful, urgent and well told coming of age story about religion, class, and LGBTQ+ acceptance - no doubt reading it will save someone’s life.
A beautifully written, heartrending story of a young gay man’s journey, liberation and love. A real page turner that sparks with humanity and hope.
His engaging memoir of his long road to happiness and acceptance by his family is moving and inspiring.
I can't recommend A Dutiful Boy enough, I couldn’t put it down. A journey of self discovery, longing, triumph and hope. I fell in love with Mohsin, I imagine you will too.
A powerful read. In fact, searing in places... vivid and told me a lot about my country... ultimately uplifting.
A wonderful book. I really do think that everyone should read it.
A deeply-moving account...a must-read.
A remarkable memoir...an incredibly moving read. I had to put the book down several times to cry...it's a book that will save lives.
The best memoirs take the reader on two journeys: one journey is to a greater understanding of the author; the other is to a greater understanding of yourself and the society around you. A Dutiful Boy is one such book. It is the story of a young boy growing up in a devout Muslim family in east London who knew he was gay but who also knew such an admission was inconceivable in a religious culture where homosexuality was still taboo. This is the story of a family's love, a battle with shame and a long journey to acceptance. It is deeply moving and profoundly important and it made me cry. Mohsin is such an impressive person: the first from his comprehensive school to go to Oxbridge, he is now a highly regarded barrister but DAMMIT the man can write too. If you liked The Boy with the Topknot by Sathnam Sanghera or Educated by Tara Westover, you will also love this book. Thank you Mohsin, for having the courage to tell this story.
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In the latest essay in our Small Idea, Big Impact series, author Mohsin Zaidi explains how an independent review of the national curriculum, to reflect a more accurate history of our world, will benefit the entire country.