As an award-winning investigative journalist, Zaiba Malik has been imprisoned and interrogated in Bangladesh, exposed mass murder by police in Thailand and investigated honour killings among the Pakistani community in Britain. She's appeared in The Guardian and Independent and worked on some of the BBC and Channel 4's most acclaimed radio and TV documentaries, including 'Sleepers: Undercover with the Racists', 'Dispatches: Trouble at the Mosque' and 'Killing for Honour'.We’re thrilled that Zaiba is joining us in somewhat different circumstances at The Drop at The Three Crowns to take part in the Stoke Newington Literary Festival.
Known for being an expert on British Muslim culture, Zaiba reads from and discusses her enchanting memoir We Are A Muslim, Please. Growing up in Bradford in the 1970s and 1980s certainly had its moments – staying up all night during Ramadan with her father; watching mad Mr Aziz searching for his goat during Eid; dancing along to Top of the Pops (so long as no-one’s watching). And, of course, there’s her mother – whether she’s writing another ingratiating letter to the Queen or repeatedly referring to Tom Jones as ‘Thumb Jone’.
But Zaiba’s story is also one of anxiety and seemingly irreconcilable opposites. Growing up she is constantly torn between two identities: ‘British’ and ‘Muslim’. Alienated at school and confused at home, the racism she encounters as a child mirrors the horrors she experiences at the hands of Bangladeshi interrogators as a journalist years later.
Five years after the 7/7 attacks galvanized debates about Muslim-British identity, We Are A Muslim, Please is a stirring and enchanting memoir. We see, through Zaiba’s childhood eyes, the poignancy of growing up in a world whose prejudices, contradictions and ambiguities are at once distressing and utterly captivating.
Zaiba will read at The Drop at The Three Crowns on Sunday 6th June at 3pm.Tickets are £4 (£3 concessions) and are available HERE, as well as at Stoke Newington Bookshop.