Books·Canadian

The Name I Call Myself

A picture book by Hasan Namir, illustrated by Cathryn John.

Hasan Namir, illustrated by Cathryn John

Meet Ari, a young person who doesn't like to be called by their birth name Edward: "When I think of the name Edward, I imagine old kings who snore a lot."

Throughout this beautiful and engaging picture book, we watch Ari grow up before our very eyes as they navigate the ins and outs of their gender identity; we see how, as a child, they prefer dolls and princess movies, and want to grow out their hair, though their father insists on cutting it short, "because that's what boys look like."

At nine, they play hockey but wish they could try on their mother's dresses; at fifteen, they shave their face, hoping to have smooth skin like the girls. At sixteen, they want to run away, especially from their father, who insists, "You're a boy, so you have to act like one." Who will Ari become?

Moving from age six to adolescence, The Name I Call Myself depicts Edward's tender, solitary gender journey to Ari: a new life distinguished and made meaningful by self-acceptance and unconditional love. (From Arsenal Pulp Press)

Hasan Namir is a poet and novelist from Vancouver. He is also the author of the novel God in Pink and the poetry collection War / TornCBC Books named Namir a writer to watch in 2019.

Cathryn John is an illustrator and designer from Vancouver.

Interviews with Hasan Namir

Other books by Hasan Namir

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