NAMED IN THE GUARDIAN AND GQ MAGAZINE'S BEST BOOKS OF 2020
'A beautifully written book, a lovely story, life-affirming' Jeremy Vine
'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,' Elizabeth Day, author of How to Fail
Discover a powerful coming of age memoir about growing up queer in a strict Muslim household.
Mohsin grew up in a poor pocket of east London, in a devout shia Muslim community. His family were close-knit and religiously conservative. From a young age, Mohsin felt different but in a home where being gay was inconceivable he also felt very alone.
Outside of home Mohsin went to a failing inner city school where gang violence was a fact of life. As he grew up life didn't seem to offer teenage Mohsin any choices: he was disenfranchised from opportunity and isolated from his family as a closet gay Muslim.
But Mohsin had incredible drive and became the first person from his school to go to Oxford University. At university came the newfound freedom to become the man his parents never wanted him to be. But when he was confronted by his father and a witch doctor invited to 'cure' him Mohsin had to make a difficult choice.
Mohsin's story takes harrowing turns but it is full of life and humour, and, ultimately, it is an inspiring story about breaking through life's barriers.
'This is a fiercely important book with a big beating heart-Mohsin Zaidi has delivered to us a deeply personal story that is an urgent manual for our times.' Tope Folarin, Author of A Particular Kind of Black Man
'A Dutiful Boy delivers an intimate account of the anguish of one man's gay, Muslim, coming-of-age story, and reveals something important about us all in the process,' Afua Hirsch
'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,' Suzi Ruffell
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.
No matter who you are, 2020 hasn’t been easy; so this Christmas we’re seeking solace in books that bring us hope. From life-affirming memoirs to bold manifestos and moving meditations on nature, these stories are the perfect gift to remind a loved one (or yourself) that there are better days around the corner.
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.