God Loves Hair by Vivek Shraya

godloveshairGod Loves Hair by Vivek Shraya

About: Vivek Shraya’s first book is a collection of twenty-one short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates the complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging. God Loves Hair is a moving and ultimately joyous portrait of youth that celebrates diversity in all shapes, sizes, and colors. (SPL website.)

Stephanie says: This tiny collection is less “short stories” and more like miniature vignettes in the mind of a child aging into a teen. As a whole collection, it reads as though the author is writing scenes or tableaus that he later realized were critical in developing his singular personhood.

In the beginning, we are told of how the narrator’s mom barters with her Hindu God begging that if he gives her two boys, she will promise to give them their first haircut in the Temple of the Seven Hills in Tirupathi, India. In the Hindu religion it is custom to cut off your hair because it “pleases God because it means you have chosen Him over your appearance.”  This negotiation is the seminal moment in our narrator’s journey as he seeks an understanding of himself as a gay, Canadian-Indian Hindu. The rawness with which Shraya writes about his awkwardness in this coming-of-age collection is painfully familiar to anyone who has experienced reality as a teen.

About Audviral, Mistress of the Stacks

Teen Services Librarian for the Rita & Truett Smith Public Library of Wylie, Texas.
This entry was posted in coming of age, culturally driven, short stories, Steph and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s