A Disobedient Girl

Sara Al Husaini

Original title: Huono tyttö

Author: Sara Al Husaini

Published: 2023

Publisher: Like

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 295

Reading material:

Finnish manuscript, English sample

An honest and authentic debut novel & winner of the BookBeat Newcomer of the Year Award, a novel that shakes the reader to their core

A mother is escorting her daughter, trembling with fear, to the wedding suite door. This is what she’s been raised for ever since she was little, kept in wrapping paper like a precious sweet. This is the reason why she was brought back from Finland to Iraq.

You shouldn’t have abandoned the headscarf”, her siblings say. “He is your husband now”, her mother says.

A Disobedient Girl is an astonishingly honest and authentic story about the history of subjugating and silencing women, about abandoning one’s faith, honor violence, forced marriage, Islamic morality, the price of freedom, and the desperate desire for the right to self-determination. Above all, it is about a fearless woman who wants to survive and change the world.

Based on her own experiences, Sara Al Husaini’s novel A Disobedient Girl should be on the reading list of as many people as possible. It is an eye-opening and hopefully heart-opening story - or rather a document of sorts - about how the right to, among others, one’s own body is not everyone’s privilege.

– Kaisa Koski, Hämeen Sanomat newspaper

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Rights sold:
FINLAND: Like (orig.)

About author

Sara Al Husaini

Sara Al Husaini (1992) is a human rights activist, feminist, and linguist from Helsinki. She was born in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia and moved to Finland as a child. She has studied English philology at the University of Helsinki and has worked, among others, as an intern at the European Parliament. She is currently a board member in Amnesty Finland and member of the steering group for UN Women Finland. In 2021, Al Husaini was chosen as the Refugee Woman of the Year by the Finnish Refugee Council.

Her debut novel A Disobedient Girl (orig. Huono tyttö) is a deeply personal story of experiences for which there haven’t been words before. Al Husaini's writing delves into the human psyche, weaving a tale that unravels the threads of cultural expectations and the resilience of those who defy them. Through her storytelling, Al Husaini seeks to provoke thought, challenge stereotypes, and ignite conversations that lead to meaningful societal shifts.


2023, Literary Fiction

Sara Al Husaini

A Disobedient Girl