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This is a Dark Matter Zine podcast and I’m your host Nalini Haynes. Today I’m talking to author Naseem Jamnia about their book the Bruising of Qilwa. My review for this book is here.
Acknowledgement of Country
First, Dark Matter Zine acknowledges this recording is taking place on the unceded Country of the Bunurong Peoples’ of the Kulin Nation as Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Information about why we acknowledge Country is at the bottom of this post.
Naseem is a queer, nonbinary, Persian, trans, Chicagoan, writer, neuroscientist, baker, nerd and gamer. They graduated from the MFA program in fiction at the University of Nevada, Reno, and received a graduate certificate in Gender, Race, and Identity. They are a journalist who primarily writes speculative fiction, primarily (secondary world) fantasy, across all ages (adult and kidlit (MG/YA) both). Their journalism focuses mainly on science and science literary, academia, social justice, and public health. They also edit a few publications – basically, they is very busy.
Pronunciation: NA-seem JAM-knee-ah
Naseem Jamnia’s book recommendations, list written by Naseem
- The Bruising of Qilwa was mostly inspired by a video game (Dragon Age 2), but Neon Yang’s The Black Tides of Heaven helped me think about structure, and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West made me consider the larger plight of refugees in the world.
- NK Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy has hugely impacted me as a writer—it’s less apparent in Qilwa than in another book set in the same universe, but I cannot recommend her enough.
- For books starring people with queer genders: I imagine many people have heard of She Who Became the Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan, Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki, and the Monk & Robot books by Becky Chambers—all are excellent. I also adore RB Lemberg’s The Unbalancing in this category, a book quite unlike any I’ve read.
- For short stories, Charlie Jane Anders’ Even Greater Mistakes is such a wonderful queer romp, even in the most difficult stories. She’s brilliant.
- This will be on all the awards lists, I’m sure, but Babel by RF Kuang is an absolute must for anyone interested in colonialism and academia (and the relationship between them).
- A pivot of directions: Shannon Chakraborty’s The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is so funny and so much fun and is such an excellent historical fantasy. It’s queer, too!
- I’m about to read The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz and cannot wait. I’ve also got Mia Tsai’s Bitter Medicine on the list!
Find Naseem Jamnia
You can find Naseem at their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Some interview questions and talking points
- Please tell us about your book.
- Why representation?
- Queer normative
- International politics
- Gender affirming care
This has been a Dark Matter Zine podcast. I’m your host Nalini Haynes. I’ve been talking to Naseem Jamnia, author of the genderqueer refugee story The Bruising of Qilwa. Next week I’ll be talking to Bianca Marais, author of The Witches of Moonshyne Manor. Thank you for listening. Stay safe and have fun.
Acknowledgement of Country
Dark Matter Zine acknowledges this recording is taking place on the unceded Country of the Bunurong Peoples’ of the Kulin Nation as Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
(I have occasionally acknowledged Country in podcasts. This year I aim to lift my game in many areas, so I plan to Acknowledge Country in every podcast. An Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners can be done by anyone. It’s a way of showing awareness of, and respect for, the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of the land where a meeting or event is held. For more information about Country and respect for Australia’s First Nations, read this post that also has links to useful websites.)