Winner of the LAMDA Literary Award
Winner of the Polari Book Prize
Named one of the best books of the year by The Guardian, GQ,
The NewStatesman and Attitude
A Dutiful Boy is a coming of age memoir (published by Penguin) about Mohsin, a Muslim boy growing up in a poor part of London in a strict religious household who has to come to terms with the fact that he is gay. He becomes the first person from his school to go to Oxford University, where he is confronted with the broken parts of his identity and seeks a way to reconcile seeming irreconcilable worlds. He then goes on to become a criminal barrister.
In young adulthood, Mohsin fights for a place in his family and ultimately finds it. At its heart, the story is one of family love, with parents overcoming the religious and cultural barriers that stand between them and their son. As well as faith, sexuality and mental health, the book addresses issues of race and class in a subtle but sophisticated manner.
It has been described by The Guardian as 'a profound meditation on the power of the human heart to transcend the contradictions of diverse cultures and create something new...utterly compelling...providing a lesson of acceptance for us all, and for the future of our multicultural society'. The Times says it is a book that will save lives. Mohsin was recently on Elizabeth Day's 'How to Fail' podcast and she has said the book is 'deeply moving and profoundly important'.
"Zaidi’s account is raw, honest and at times quite painful to read. It's so vivid that it feels almost tangible, as though you’re living the experiences of the author himself"
— The Guardian
“A deeply-moving account...a must-read."
“A remarkable memoir...an incredibly moving read. I had to put the book down several times to cry...it's a book that will save lives.”
— Sathnam Sanghera,
Author of The Boy with a Topknot
“A Dutiful Boy delivers an intimate account of the anguish of one man's gay, Muslim, coming-of-age story, and reveals something important about us all in the process."
— AFUA HIRSCH
“This is the story of a family's love, a battle with shame and a long journey to acceptance. It is deeply moving and profoundly important and it made me cry.”
— Elizabeth Day,
Author of How to Fail
“Deeply affecting and often funny, it sends a powerful message”
— Times Literary Supplement
“A powerful memoir...Zaidi’s offers poignant reflections on racism and class...his journey to acceptance shines through in the openness and clarity of his writing.”
— i Newspaper
“A wonderful book. I really do think that everyone should read it.”
— Mark Haddon, Author of The Curious
Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
“This is a fiercely important book with a big beating heart—Mohsin Zaidi has delivered to us a deeply personal story that is an urgent manual for our times.”
— Tope Folarin
“I can't recommend enough,
I couldn't put it down.
A journey of self-discovery, longing, triumph and hope.
I fell in love with Mohsin,
I imagine you will too."
— Suzi Ruffell
“A compelling and lucid memoir, not merely a compelling read, but a possible game-changer with the potential to save lives.”
“Powerful and inspiring"
— GAY TIMES
“Delicate and highly engrossing.”
— The Irish News
“An incredibly hopeful, urgent & well told coming of age story about religion, class, and acceptance.
no doubt reading it will save
— Amelia Abraham, DAZED
“The moving personal story of a gay Muslim's tribulations and triumphs at the interface of family, faith and freedom, told with great candour and eloquence.”
— Peter Thatchell
“A beautifully written, heartrending story of a young gay man’s journey, liberation and love. A real page turner that sparks with humanity and hope"
— Lord Michael Cashman
“His engaging memoir of his long road to happiness and acceptance by his family is moving and inspiring.”
“A powerful read. In fact, searing in places... vivid and told me a lot about my country... ultimately uplifting.”
— Lionel Barber, Financial Times
“Heartfelt, emotional and really funny.”
— Russell Tovey
“Emotionally searing...deeply moving and ultimately triumphant.”
— AnOther Magazine
““This heartfelt and honest book is beautifully written and full of hope..”
— THE NEW ARAB
“Poignant, funny, and searingly beautiful, both deeply personal yet often universal in its portrayal of love, family and religion.”
— The Telegraph