Penned in the Margins to publish fiction debut by Khaled Hakim

Blog / Tom Chivers

Indie Penned in the Margins has acquired an innovative fiction debut by poet and Sufi musician Khaled Hakim.

The Book of Naseeb tells the story of an idealistic petty criminal who dreams of fitting the victims of Afghanistan with artificial limbs. Described by the author as “a Muslim Clockwork Orange“, The Book of Naseeb is written in a mixture of street argot and Quranic-inspired language, and uses Islamic eschatology to frame the hero’s struggle for redemption.

 

Born in Birmingham and based in east London, Khaled Hakim published poetry in the 1990s and was one of the first experimental poets of colour in the UK. He took a decade-long break to pursue a spiritual path, becoming a Sufi student and musician. He wrote The Book of Naseeb over seven years, while looking after a growing family.

 

Editor Tom Chivers says, “I am honoured that Khaled has trusted us with publishing this remarkable story. When I first opened up the manuscript, I was absolutely blown away by the intensity and beauty of his language, as well as the urgency of the narrative. Khaled is doing something completely unique – both epic and startlingly intricate – and I can’t wait to share The Book of Naseeb with readers. I think Khaled deserves to be considered alongside the likes of Max Porter, Paul Kingsnorth and Eimear McBride as one of the most exciting innovators in contemporary British fiction.”

 

World rights were acquired directly from the author, with publication in May 2020.

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