The Next Chapter

Sabina Khan on writing a YA novel about a Muslim teen who's out and proud

The B.C.-based author talks about why she wrote debut YA novel The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali.
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali is a YA novel by Sabina Khan. (, Scholastic)

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali is B.C. writer Sabina Khan's first novel. It's a YA novel about a teenager balancing the expectations of her conservative Muslim parents with her desire to wear crop tops and date girls. 

Khan dropped by The Next Chapter to discuss The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali.

Out loud

"My daughter, who was 17 at the time, came out to us a couple of years ago and we were very proud of her confidence — for knowing who she is exactly and for being comfortable enough to come out to us. But she also told us about other teens who came from conservative families — not only South Asian but across cultures — who were having a really difficult time.

"Either they were afraid to come out to them altogether or, if they did come out, they were not being treated well. Some of them were getting depressed, even suicidal. It made me want to write a story about a Muslim teen who comes from a very conservative family and the struggles that she might go through."

Sabrina Khan's comments have been edited for length and clarity.