by Amrou Al-Kadhi - £16.99 4th Estate (2019)
hardback ISBN 13: 9780008306069 | ISBN 10: 0008306060
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir about the author’s journey from a god-fearing Muslim boy to a proud, queer drag queen.
My name is Amrou Al-Kadhi – by day. By night, I am Glamrou, an empowered, confident 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 Jeremy Kyle. And that was just the beginning.
This is the story of how I got from there to here. You’ll read about my teenage obsession with marine biology, and how fluid aquatic life helped me understand my non-binary gender identity. You’ll read about my 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). You’ll read about how I discovered the transformative powers of drag while at Cambridge university; about how I suffered a massive breakdown after I left, and very nearly lost my mind; 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, my first love, the most beautiful and glamorous woman I’ve ever known, the unknowing inspiration for my career as a drag queen – and a fierce, vociferous critic of anything that transgresses normal gender boundaries. It’s about how we lost and found each other, about forgiveness, understanding, hope – and the life-long search for belonging.
(Price & availability last checked: November 2019)
Featured book: Wowfest Lockdown Festival 2020,
In booklists: Asian and Middle Eastern Britain, Black and Asian Biography and Autobiography, Non-Binary, Genderfluid and Genderqueer Lives & Biographies, Cross-Dressing and Drag, In categories: Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, History & Biography, World - Asia, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality & Transgender, Men & Masculinity,