Four weeks before the release of her debut novel, author Sabina Khan tweeted she hadn't been sure anyone would read her story when she first began writing.
"I wasn't sure if anyone would want to read about the struggles of a Muslim lesbian from an immigrant family," Khan, 50, wrote.
Her fears, so far, have been proven incorrect: "The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali" has appeared on several lists of anticipated reads, including being called one of Seventeen Magazine's best young adult reads of the year.
In “The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali,” scheduled to be released Jan. 29, the title character Rukhsana is an ambitious teen who often chafes at her parents strict rules when it comes to clothing and behavior. But Rukhsana also has a secret, which is that she has been covertly been dating her classmate Ariana for months. When the young couple are abruptly discovered, Rukhsana’s parents decide to send her to their native Bangladesh in the hopes of getting her away from Western influences and to get her married to a man.
Khan said she was largely inspired by the experiences of one of her daughters, who came out as queer when she was 17, and the reaction from their community. While talking to her daughter and her friends in the LGBT community about their experiences, Khan noticed that many of them struggled with coming out to their parents for fear of how they would react. Read more via NBC