I Can’t Think Straight by Shamim Sarif


Moving between Middle Eastern high society and London’s West End, this story explores the clashes between East and West, love and marriage, and convention and individuality creating a humorous and tender tale of unexpected love.


From the award winning author of The World Unseen comes a spirited tale about culture, tradition, and an undeniable love.

Tala, a London-based Palestinian, is preparing for her elaborate Middle Eastern wedding when she meets Leyla, a young British Indian woman who is dating her best friend. Spirited Christian Tala and shy Muslim Leyla could not be more different from each other, but the attraction is immediate and goes deeper than friendship. But Tala is not ready to accept the implications of the choice her heart has made for her and escapes back to Jordan, while Leyla tries to move on with her new-found life, to the shock of her tradition-loving parents. As Tala’s wedding day approaches, simmering tensions come to boiling point and the pressure mounts for Tala to be true to herself. Moving between the vast enclaves of Middle Eastern high society and the stunning backdrop of London’s West End, I Can’t Think Straight explores the clashes between East and West, love and marriage, conventions and individuality, creating a humorous and tender story of unexpected love and unusual freedoms.

“Shamim Sharif is a gifted artist and a sensitive humanitarian who is able to place the surprises the world exposes in context—all with humor and with erotica and superb storytelling.” —Grady Harp, Amazon.com Hall of Fame, Top 100 Reviewer, Vine Voice

“. . . a brilliantly executed, romantic, sexy, and heart-warming page-turner… the work of an amazingly talented writer and one that is a refreshing and immensely enjoyable read that leaves you smiling. The only thing to not like about the book is that it had to end . . .” —Cherrygrrl.com

“Each character in the story is wonderfully complex and endearing . . . Sarif evokes an atmosphere so diverse and inviting, each page is something to be savored. Sarif ’s descriptions are beautifully crafted; delicate, seductive and enthralling, they make I Can’t Think Straight a sheer joy to read from start to finish.” —Grace Chu, GracetheSpot

“Anyone who has ever had to come out to a traditional family will instantly sympathize.” —AfterEllen.com

“Sarif’s novel really hits home how being gay can be received by different cultures, and how family and friends will take it.” —Lesbrary.com

“As the characters discover how challenging it is to be true to themselves, Sarif is as observant of their inner conflicts as she is of the worlds in which they live.
—Kevin Lee Thomason, East Bay Times

SHAMIM SARIF is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and feature film director. Her works include the novels and films, I Can’t Think Straight, The World Unseen, and Despite the Falling Snow; and the documentary, The House of Tomorrow. She is currently working on the novel and film project, The Artemis Protocol. She lives in London, England with her wife Hanan Kattan and their two sons.

Please click here for more information on the award-winning feature film, I Can’t Think Straight.

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