The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name – Entered in 2018 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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In The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, Fiza Pathan presents a collection of twenty-one incredibly moving short stories. The stories included in this collection highlight the devastating struggle of LGBTQ youth and adults all over the world. In contrast, Pathan also includes a handful of stories that emphasize compassion, perseverance, and love.

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name is a thoroughly engrossing read that plunges the reader into the lives of many different LGBTQ characters. Pathan explores the ways in which, regardless of country or cultural background, LGBTQ youth struggle through their lives. Where this collection itself ultimately struggles is with the mechanics of the writing. The stories are all well-structured and the characters are clearly established, but the syntax is, in general, awkward. Though the mechanical issues do not interfere with the reader’s ability to enjoy the work, they could be mitigated by an editor who is a native English speaker.

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name forces the reader to confront the horrible reality that many LGBTQ youth and adults live with every day. The choice to set the stories in countries from all over the world, even those generally considered accepting of the LGBTQ community, is a powerful one which forces the reader to confront the reality of what the LGBTQ community faces every day. These stories do not shy away from the horrific! Pathan strikes a good balance between the depressing and the uplifting, presenting the reader with a handful of stories that end on a positive note. Each story in this collection is cleverly constructed to force the reader to think about LGBTQ issues from a different perspective. The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name by Fiza Pathan is a powerful book that everyone should read, regardless of what community they identify with.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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