Unicorn: The Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen (Hardback)Amrou Al-Kadhi (author)
- Coming soon
From a god-fearing Muslim boy enraptured with their mother, to a vocal, queer drag queen estranged from their family, this is a heart-breaking and hilarious memoir about the author's fight to be true to themself
My name is Amrou Al-Kadhi - by day. By night, I am Glamrou, an empowered, fearless and acerbic drag queen who wears seven-inch heels and says the things that nobody else dares to.
Growing up in a strict Iraqi Muslim household, it didn't take long for me to realise I was different. When I was ten years old, I announced to my family that I was in love with Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. The resultant fallout might best be described as something like the Iraqi version of Jerry Springer: The Opera. And that was just the beginning.
This is the story of how I got from there to here: about my teenage obsession with marine biology, and how fluid aquatic life helped me understand my non-binary gender identity; about my two-year scholarship at Eton college, during which I wondered if I could forge a new identity as a British aristocrat (spoiler alert: it didn't work); about discovering the transformative powers of drag while at university (and how I very nearly lost my mind after I left); and about how, after years of rage towards it, I finally began to understand Islam in a new, queer way.
Most of all, this is a book about my mother. It's the journey of how we lost and found each other, about forgiveness, understanding, hope - and the life-long search for belonging.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 270 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 mm
`This book is as rare, fabulous and beautiful as the creature it is named for. A masterpiece of psychology, a major study of Islam and a definitive study of drag, it made me cry, it made me rage and it made me hoot. Full of anger, insight and philosophy, along with some cracking great gags, this is a magnificent and essential document of the twenty-first century. It moved my heart and soul' Russell T Davies
`A heartbreaking, healing book. it will make you better' Simon Amstell
`Astonishingly brave and engaging, Unicorn shows us a side of life seldom explored' Joanna Lumley
`Amrou's book is slightly magical, I think. They are a survivor, a storyteller and yes, a unicorn' Junot Diaz
`Amrou's story is at times painful, at times hilarious, but always completely resonant. If you've ever felt like an outsider, or caught among several identities, this book is a light in the dark and a soothing balm on the pain of loneliness and alienation' Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon
`This is a masterpiece, an incredible emotional voyage, moving, funny, provocative, educational, a book you must read whatever your ethnicity or your sexual or gender identity. Beautifully written by an author whose voice must be heard' Owen Jones
`Unicorn is testament to the bravery required for many queer people to live their truth. This story is our story: one of loneliness, guts, resilience, full-on glamour, and wanting to find your people. Amrou writes with emotional intelligence and candour of the eventful journey to a life fully lived. They also know how to deliver a killer one-liner. I wish I'd had this book when I was growing up' Niven Govinden, author of The Brutal House
`Tender and hilarious in equal parts, this is a memoir like no other. A beautiful, honest account of what it is like to grow up between multiple expectations, and an uplifting reminder that it is possible to find happiness by being yourself. I was gripped at every page' Angela Saini, author of Superior