Skip to Main Content

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Arab American Literature: LGBTQIA+

This LibGuide highlights the works of Arab American authors.


This section presents works by LGBTQIA+ Arab American authors.








Authors & Works

Zaina Arafat

An LGBTQ Arab/Muslim-American fiction and nonfiction writer. Zaina has taught writing at the University of Iowa, The School of the New York Times, the International Writing Program, as well as abroad in Jordan, Egypt and Eritrea.


You Exist Too Much

Randa Jarrar

Randa Jarrar was born to an Egyptian Mama and a Palestinian Baba in Chicago, and moved to Kuwait two months later. Jarrar enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College at the age of 16 in 1994, came out as queer, and started writing a novel in 2000.

LGBTQIA+ Works: 

Love Is an Ex-Country

Zeyn Joukhadar

The author of the novels The Thirty Names of Night, which won the 2021 Stonewall Book Award, as well as The Map of Salt and Stars, which won the 2018 Middle East Book Award and was translated into twenty languages.

LGBTQIA+ Works: 

The Thirty Names of Night

"Trans Heaven is a House Full of Flowers and No Word for Shame"

Rasha Abdulhadi

Rasha is a queer Palestinian Southerner who grew up between Damascus, Syria and rural Georgia and cut their teeth organizing on the southsides of Atlanta and Chicago. They are a member of Alternate ROOTS, Southerners on New Ground, Justice for Muslims Healing Collective, and the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI).

LGBTQIA+ Works: 

Shell Houses

Like a Cypress, Headlong

Dad's Combs

Olive Harvest

Rabih Alameddine

Alameddine was born in Amman, Jordan to Lebanese Druze parents. He grew up in Kuwait and Lebanon, which he left at age 17 to live first in England and then in California.

LGBTQIA+ Works: 

Koolaids: The Art of War

The Perv

The Hakawati

The Angel of History