Haroon Moghul is tired of reading books about American Muslims and terrorism. The 30-something writer and educator often gives talks and teaches courses, where “people come up to me ... and say, ‘What can I read about Islam that will help me understand who Muslims are?’” he told me. “There are so few books out there that I would recommend. It’s deeply disheartening."

In How to Be a Muslim, Moghul has tried something new: a memoir about how his “life kind of crashed and burned” around age 32, as he put it. He writes about the pains and hilarities of growing in a South Asian family in bucolic Massachusetts; his lifelong struggle with mental illness and adult diagnosis with bipolar disorder; and his many crushes, including his ex-wife, Hafsa, whom he later divorced. The book is by turns delightful and bizarre; it’s confessional writing about being Muslim, but also about struggles that are likely common across religions.

It’s not exactly apolitical: Moghul’s mental illness is specifically conditioned by the anxiety and pressure of being a “professional Muslim,” as he puts it. But it’s an attempt to claim literary space for American Muslims that’s not about geopolitics. And Moghul has offered up his own life as material.

Read the source article at The Atlantic