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PW #100: Adult Literary Fiction #ownvoices: OTHER PEOPLE

Tuesday, 31 October 2017  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentors Names: Léonie Kelsall & Marty Mayberry

Mentee Name: Syed Masood

Title: OTHER PEOPLE

Category: Adult

Genre: Literary Fiction #ownvoices

Word Count: 72,000

Pitch:

THUG meets The Kite Runner. Lapsed attorney Anvar Faris is a bad Muslim, though he hides it well. He deals, albeit poorly, with complex issues, such as immigration, predator drones, eternal damnation, and his accidental cuckolding of a potential terrorist. When the woman he loves is paired with his odiously perfect, Quran-thumping brother for an arranged marriage, Anvar must find a way to intervene without losing his conservative family forever.

Excerpt:

I killed Mikey.

It sounds worse than it actually was. You have to understand that I didn’t kill Mikey because I wanted to do it. I killed him because God told me to do it.

I don’t suppose that sounds much better.

It helps, I think, to know that Mikey was a goat. He had a coarse brown coat and matching dull eyes with weird rectangular pupils that made him seem a little creepy. Loud and obnoxious, he shat tiny round pellets all over the cramped garage he shared with three of his brethren. He was probably the only one of his companions who had a name. I know my parents didn’t name their goats, and I remember my brother, Aamir, saying that naming animals was stupid.

Mikey was the only pet I ever had. He was mine for about a week. I fed him dry straw and brought him buckets of water and asked him if he really wanted to be slaughtered for the sake of Allah at the upcoming Eid because, quite frankly, that seemed like a poor career choice. He remained stoic in the face of his grim fate, at least so far as I could tell.

Eid al-Adha marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. The name of the celebration translates to “The Festival of Sacrifice.”

Yes, Islam has a marketing problem.

Filed: PW Entries

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