Monster Child

Monster Child

Rahela Nayebzadah
  • $20.00

MAY 2021
200 pages | ISBN 978-1-989496-30-5

In a powerful debut novel author Rahela Nayebzadah introduces three unforgettable characters, Beh, Shabnam and Alif. In a world swirling with secrets, racism and a touch of magic we watch through the eyes of these three children as Nayebzadah's family of Afghan immigrants try to find their way in an often uncaring society. But as a sexual assault on thirteen-year-old Beh unleashes the past and destroys the family the reader is left wondering who is the monster child? Is it Beh, who says she is called a disease? Is it Shabnam, who cries tears of blood? Is it Alif, who in the end declares "We are a family of monsters"? Or are the monsters all around us?

Reviews | Interviews | Articles | Excerpt | About the Author

Advance Praise

“With irreverence, depth and a hint of magic, Nayebzadah introduces us to three Afghani Canadian teens whose family is on the brink of falling apart. There is violence and tragedy, but also humour and love. Monster Child is original and beautifully written, with a sense of wonder on every page. You have never read a story quite like this.”
– Farzana Doctor, author of Seven and Six Metres of Pavement


“Monster Child” by Rahela Nayebzadah (Susan Blumberg-Kason, Asian Review of Books, 17/06/2021)
"Nayebzadah packs a complicated family history into this short novel, rife with trauma [...] from the beginning until the end."


Rahela Nayebzadah, Author of the Powerful New Novel Monster Child, on Being Nicknamed "Revenge", Dream Trips, & Spike Lee (Open Book, 15/06/2021)
Rahela tells Open Book about the narrow-minded advice she's been given about her name, the filmmaker whose writing always inspires her and the impressive nickname she earned as a child.


ALU Summer Book Club: 2021 Edition (All Lit Up, 05/07/2021)
Monster Child is August's pick for the All Lit Up Summer Book Club!

First Fiction Friday: Monster Child (All Lit Up, 14/05/2021)
"Rahela Nayebzadah's Monster Child is not your typical immigrant story. Through the eyes of three Afghan children, an uncaring world, filled with racism, family secrets and magic unfolds. Readers must squint to see clearly through shape-shifting forms of evil to determine who truly is the Monster Child."

What We're Reading: Editors' Picks, Spring 2021 (Hamilton Review of Books, 12/02/2021)
Rahela's novel makes the HRB's list of most anticipated spring titles!

Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview (49th Shelf, 07/01/2021)
Rahela's novel is one of 49th Shelf's most anticipated!

Unleashing tragedy and mayhem (BC Booklook, 06/11/2020)
An advance notice for Rahela Nayebzadah's debut novel Monster Child.


Click here to read an excerpt of Monster Child.

About the Author

A mother of two, Rahela Nayebzadah holds a PhD in the Faculty of Education from the University of British Columbia. Currently, she is a schoolteacher. Her autobiographical novel, Jeegareh Ma (2012), was based on her family's migration to Canada from Afghanistan.

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