ANZ and UK rights to Sara Haghdoosti‘s YA debut novel, ‘Sunburnt Veils,’ a ‘love story with a hijabi twist’, has sold to Wakefield Press via agent Danielle Binks. The novel will publish in March 2021.
‘Sunburnt Veils’ is a smart, funny, character-based exploration of Islamophobia through a heroine who’s the kind of girl who reads at parties, but pushes herself to take a visible stand after a fellow student calls in a bomb threat on her first day of university, after she leaves a bag in a lecture theatre to take a phone call.
Here’s a sneak peek at the story:
Girl meets boy, ghosts his text messages, then convinces him to help her run for the student union. Just your typical love story with a hijabi twist.
Tara wears hijab even though her parents hate it, and in a swipe right world she’s looking for the ‘will go to the ends of the earth for you’ type of love. Or, she would be, if she hadn’t sworn off boys to focus on getting into med. Besides, what was wrong with just crushing on the assassins, mages and thieves in the fantasy books she reads.
When a bomb threat on her first day of university throws her together with totally annoying party king and oh-so-entitled politician’s son Alex, things get complicated. Tara needs to decide if she’s happy reading about heroes, or if she’s ready to step up and be one herself.
‘I’m incredibly excited about ‘Sunburnt Veils’,’ says Sara, who was born in Iran, grew up in Sydney and now lives in Chicago. ‘I grew up without having people like me at the centre of stories. I hope that young people pick up this book and see a part of themselves and also push themselves to think about what they want to create and realise that they have much more power than they imagine.’