Books

The Last One

The Last One Fatima Daas
Pub date 27th January 2022
Publisher (UK) HopeRoad Publishing

The youngest daughter of Algerian immigrants, Fatima Daas is raised in a home where love and sexuality are considered taboo and signs of affection avoided. Living in the majority-Muslim Clichy-sous-Bois, she often spends more than three hours a day on public transport to and from the city, where she feels like a tourist observing Parisian manners. She goes from unstable student to maladjusted adult, doing four years of therapy – her longest relationship. But as she gains distance from her family and comes into her own, she grapples more directly with her attraction to women and how it fits with her religion, which she continues to practice. When Nina comes into her life, she doesn’t know exactly what she needs but feels that something crucial has been missing.

‘The writing triumphs by keeping a low profile, without trying to make too much noise, and with a show of compassion for her people’ – Virginie Despentes

‘I tore through this incredible work of art in one sitting, but I often took a moment to catch my breath and admire the defiant beauty at the heart of this book.’ – Abdi Nazemian, author of Stonewall Honor Book Like a Love Story

‘Whether dealing with chronic illness, sexuality, therapy, education, faith, friendship, family, romance, or riding the bus, Fatima Daas’ The Last One takes on the world with honesty, humor, and lyricism.’ – Eman Quotah, author of Bride of the Sea

‘Daas explores multifaceted identity through achronological slices of life, arrayed like glittering shards of a fractured mirror. An extraordinary debut novel you’ll never forget.’ – Forsyth Horman, author of Justine

‘Whether she is unpacking family ties or tracing the ways queerness dovetails with other identities, Daas stops you in your tracks with what seems like a quiet symphony until you realize it is in fact a crescendo of what it means to be human.’ – Mona Eltahawy, author of The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls

‘An absorbing exploration of sexuality and religion in the mainly Muslim Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois’ – New European

The Last One is a thoughtful examination of a character who deeply wants to be known despite lacking the tools to do any of that self-excavation. The work is tender and sweet, lyrically built, and reprises itself in fascinating ways.’ – Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things and With Teeth

‘Daas has chosen not to play the designated role of “the chick from the banlieue who made it.” All of this makes her path harder, as does her unwillingness to iron out the conflict she sees between her religion and her sexuality.’ – NLR

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