Aligning with some of the tenets of Women’s History Month, Sudanese-America poet Safia Elhillo has a new collection of poetry coming out about liberating Muslim girlhood. The collection is called Girls That Never Die, contains artwork by Hassan Hajjaj, and will be published on July 12, 2022 by Penguin RandomHouse.
Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children and Home Is Not a Country and also the co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me. She has won numerous awards for her work including the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, the Arab American Book Award, and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize.
Girls That Never Die invokes the form of the epic “to explore Muslim girlhood and shame, the dangers of being a woman, and the myriad violences enacted and imagined against women’s bodies.” The collection draws from Elhillo’s own life experiences and family history, as well as cultural myths and news stories. Elhillo interlaces “the everyday traumas of growing up a girl under patriarchy with magical realist imaginings of rebellion, autonomy, and power.” In a brief note shared on her Twitter feed, she writes that she’s “very proud of this book &…very afraid of this book.”
A whole new world of women resisting patriarchy awaits in this book, as noted in the publisher’s remarks: