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Unbound Firsts

Daughters of the Nile by Zahra Barri (Paperback) (PREORDER)

Daughters of the Nile by Zahra Barri (Paperback) (PREORDER)

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Fiction - Feminist - Political - Muslim - LGBTQ+ - Bisexual


A bold multi-generational debut novel exploring themes of queerness, revolution and Islamic sisterhood.

Paris, 1940. The course of Fatiha Bin-Khalid’s life is changed forever when she befriends the Muslim feminist Doria Shafik. But after returning to Egypt and dedicating years to the fight for women’s rights, she struggles to reconcile her political ideals with the realities of motherhood.

Cairo, 1966. After being publicly shamed when her relationship with a bisexual boyfriend is revealed, Fatiha’s daughter is faced with an impossible decision. Should Yasminah accept a life she didn’t choose, or will she leave her home and country in pursuit of independence?

Bristol, 2011. British-born Nadia is battling with an identity crisis and a severe case of herpes. Feeling unfulfilled (and after a particularly disastrous one-night stand), she moves in with her old-fashioned Aunt Yasminah and realises that she must discover her purpose in the modern world before it’s too late.

Following the lives of three women from the Bin-Khalid family, Daughters of the Nile is an original and darkly funny novel that examines the enduring strength of female bonds. These women are no strangers to adversity, but they must learn from the past and relearn shame and shamelessness to radically change their futures.


Zahra Barri is an Irish-Egyptian writer and stand-up comedian. Growing up in Saudi Arabia and attending both Muslim and Catholic schools has given her a unique insight into living in multiple religious environments. She has featured on Channel 4's Only Jokes a Muslim Can Tell, BBC Radio and BBC Asian Network. In 2020 she was named a runner-up in the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Prize and she is currently doing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire. Her work is supported by the Society of Authors. She lives in Rochester, Kent.

"Barri has brought legendary Egyptian feminist Doria Shafik to life in these pages and shone a light on an integral part of modern Egyptian political history that receives little airtime." -- Yousra Imran, journalist and author of Hijab and Red Lipstick

"The kind of representation that is so sorely needed and currently still very lacking. Authentic, funny and wholly relatable. I can't wait for everyone to read this!" -- Alya Mooro, bestselling author of The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes

"An original, hilarious and deeply thought out story of three Egyptian women from one family navigating patriarchy, family expectations, sexual identity, secrets, revolutions, censorship and much more across three timelines. An assured, intelligent debut." -- Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past Is a Foreign Country

"Hilarious and heartwarming, a triumph! A glorious celebration of women." -- Sadia Azmat, comedian and author of Sex Bomb

"Original, compelling, witty and historically illuminating - hilarious and essential reading." -- Helen Lederer, comedian


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