I have known about Umm Juwayriyah’s (Maryam Sulivan) work for a while but became a fan after reading her amazing Muslim urban fiction novel, Tried and Tested. Check out the blurb.
A teenage Iman Johnson left home over a decade ago to follow behind a sweet, loving hustler who promised her the world. When that world became too much for her to endure, mentally and physically, she found herself back in Pittsburgh, PA at her Muslim mother’s doorstep, seeking refuge.
Will the Muslim family and community that she’d turned her back on years ago be ready to finally accept her, or is there too much time, emotions, hurt, and secrets built up between them to overcome? Iman will have to find the strength to face her past and relearn the basics if she ever hopes to find the sweetness of faith Allah promises.
She is a prolific author, whose works include poetry and prose. She has penned five books for children, young adults, and adults. I will never forget when she walked on stage at an event—for what everyone thought would be an author’s reading—and started dropping bars like it was nothing.
She is an educator and organizer of wonderful initiatives like the #MuslimGirlsRead literacy campaign. Every year, she raises funds to provide Muslim authored and centered books to urban youth. Yeah, she’s pretty dope.
So, it is clearly understandable why I was thrilled to have the chance to work with her on projects like the Black Muslim Authors event at New York University and the upcoming Black Muslim Reads anthology. I recently asked Umm Juwayriyah about writing and storytelling. Continue reading “LWL Interview: Prolific Black Muslim Author Umm Juwayriyah”