author: Vivek Shraya
Artist: Juliana Neufeld
date: Vivek Shraya, 2010
God Loves Hair is a collection of short stories that relates the coming of age of a gay, Indian boy. If his name was given in the story, I completely missed it. Oh, he was called names, ugly names that told him others knew he was different before he himself did. This is not a coming out story, rather it is a story of the internal growing awareness of being gay. The stories read bittersweet. I think when we’re grown and look back our teen years, we realize we made it through a little worn but strong and we can shine hopeful insights into the re-telling. I think gay teens will identify with the dilemmas the young teen faces and find satisfaction with the ending. And non-gay readers? They could catch a glimpse of what good writing looks like. You don’t need to be gay or Indian to get the wry, humor or say “oh, yeah…” as you come to understand situations. Some of the stories were a bit challenging to me at first because I didn’t know the gods who were being described, but Shraya does an excellent job of developing who the god is and why s/he is essential without detracting from the story.
Each story begins with original artwork that I’d like to tear out of the book and frame on my wall, but that would destroy my chance to read the book again!