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The Bruising of Qilwa meets The Stardust Thief, live with the authors! (in person & live-streaming)

September 18, 2022 @ 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Mainstream speculative fiction has long borrowed elements from West Asian (Middle Eastern) storytelling, but only in recent years have West Asian authors themselves been brought into the fold to tell stories inspired by our cultures. In celebration of the launch of The Bruising of Qilwa, a debut novella set in a queernormative Persian-inspired world, Persian-Chicagoan author Naseem Jamnia will be in conversation with Chelsea Abdullah, Kuwaiti-American author of The Stardust Thief. After a brief reading, they’ll discuss their books, West Asian storytelling traditions, and bringing their cultures into a secondary world, with opportunity for a Q&A. Signing will be available after the event.

This event will take place in person at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, on the second floor (room 210) of The LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., NYC, 10011.

Registration is not required. Seating is first come, first served.

Also live-streaming on the Bureau’s YouTube channel




Both books will also be available for purchase at the event.

Thank you for supporting the Bureau by purchasing books from us!


Safety protocol

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 in the days leading up to the event, we ask you to please stay home.

Please note that masks are required at all times inside The LGBT Community Center, where the Bureau is located.


Suggested donation $10 to benefit the Bureau’s work.

All are welcome to attend, with or without donation.

We will pass a bag for donations at the start of the event, but we can also take credit card donations at the register.


Chelsea Abdullah is an American-Kuwaiti writer born and raised in Kuwait, where she grew up listening to stories about mysterious desert creatures and wily (only sometimes likable) heroes. Consumed by wanderlust, she has put down roots in various states. After earning her MA in English at Duquesne University, she moved to New York, where she currently lives. When not immersed in her own fictional worlds, she spends her free time playing video games, doodling characters, and hoarding books she doesn’t have the shelf space for.


Naseem Jamnia is a Persian-Chicagoan, former scientist, and fiction MFA graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. Their work has appeared in The Washington Post, Bitch Media, Cosmopolitan, The Rumpus, The Writer’s Chronicle, and other venues. A Lambda Literary, Otherwise, and the inaugural Samuel R. Delany Fellow, Naseem is the managing editor at Sword & Kettle Press and the author of The Bruising of Qilwa.


September 18, 2022
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
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Bureau of General Services–Queer Division
208 West 13th Street, Room 210
New York, NY 10011 United States
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