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Muslim and American: Two Perspectives

Skunk Girl

Sheba Karim


Grades 7+

From a Kirkus Review -- "There are only two types of people who spend their Friday nights in high school at home - Pakistani Muslim girls and future serial killers." Although Nina Khan was born and raised in small-town Deer Hook, N.Y., and has never visited her parents' homeland, she must adhere to their rigid cultural and religious beliefs, including no sleepovers, alcohol or dating. With dark skin, a wide bottom and an overabundance of body hair that makes her a "skunk girl," what are her chances of dating in the predominantly fair-skinned, closed-minded town anyway? But when Italian Asher transfers to her high school, she dreams of romance for the first time. In this debut, episodic novel, rife with smart, self-deprecating humor and set in the 1990s just as a phenomenon known as e-mail is gaining interest, Nina searches for identity and emerging independence while accepting the reality of her home life.

About the Author

Sheba Karim writes literary and young adult fiction. She was born and raised in Catskill, NY, and is a graduate of New York University School of Law and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her young adult novel, Skunk Girl, was published in the United States, Denmark, India, Italy and Sweden. Her fiction has appeared in 580 Split, Asia Literary Review, Barn Owl Review, EGO, Kartika Review, Shenandoah, South Asian Review, Time Out Delhi and in several published and forthcoming anthologies in the United States and India, including Cornered, Electric Feather, and Venus Fly Trap. Two of her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was a 2009-2010 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar and is currently working on a historical fiction novel set in 13th century India.

Sheba Karim

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