Naseem Jamnia, author the forthcoming THE BRUISING OF QILWA, was honored with a 2022 Otherwise Fellowship
The Otherwise Award announced three new Otherwise Fellows: children’s fiction writer Cat Aquino, speculative fiction writer Naseem Jamnia, and speculative fiction writer and illustrator Dante Luiz.
Naseem Jamnia is a speculative fiction writer whose work contains “unquestioned and undoubted queerness so deeply embedded in the worldbuilding that it can no longer be called queer, and gender is a central focus of that inclusion.” For Naseem, queer genders are central to their fiction, even though their stories are seldom about queerness. They will use the grant money for historical research on non-Western genders that exist outside the binary, in order to better understand the world in which their novella THE BRUISING OF QILWA (Tachyon Publications 2022) takes place. In Naseem’s novella, “the main character Firuz, an agender nonbinary trans person—who would not use those terms for themself, but rather, call themself a binoh, ‘one without type’—grapples with their responsibilities as a clinician and a magic user in a city overrun by refugees like them. Meanwhile, their younger brother, Parviz, a binary trans boy, is desperate to transition with the magic only Firuz can do in their new home. The issue here is not whether Parviz is actually a boy, or whether Firuz runs the risk of being misgendered; the issue is while the city is in crisis, while an ethnic genocide of Firuz’s people happens in the background, the rest of life continues on and demands Firuz’s attention and time when they’re stretched so thin.” Naseem’s work is “a promise of possibility” and a love letter to their queer, brown communities.2022 Otherwise Fellowships