Djinn

Tofik Dibi, trans. from the Dutch by Nicholas P. Barr. State Univ. of New York, $29.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-43848-130-2
In this excellent memoir, 39-year-old former Dutch Green Left politician Dibi tells how he navigated the fraught politics of integration and sexuality as a second-generation Moroccan-Dutch, Muslim, gay man. Dibi intensely describes how he felt caught between “it”— his homosexuality—and “them”—his family, friends, and the wider community who looked up to him as an outspoken advocate for minority rights. And yet, Dibi writes, he never saw himself reflected in Dutch society or popular culture, particularly the hip-hop music and comic books he enjoyed. Because of this, he struggled to fully accept himself—and with the original publication of this book in the Netherlands in 2015 came out as a gay man. Dibi’s narrative will captivate readers with its sharp descriptions of how he attempted to rid himself of the “djinn” (spirits that controlled him) through a smoke ceremony in a Moroccan cave, as well as years of dancing around questions about his sexuality in public interviews and at the family dinner table. Dibi shatters stereotypes with this punchy, raw chronicle. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 09/04/2020
Release date: 01/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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