To celebrate the eBook publication of The Henna Wars, we sat down (digitally!) with Adiba Jaigirdar for a Q&A session.
Hi Adiba, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself
I’m Bangladesi-Irish. I like writing about queer people of colour. I’m an earthbender. I love reading and playing video games.
Describe The Henna Wars in one sentence
Two teen girls with rival henna businesses fall in love.
Why did you decide to write The Henna Wars and what were some of your inspirations?
I hadn’t really read any books where two queer brown girls got to be messy and fall in love, and get a happy ending. I wanted to write that. I was inspired by henna and my own inability to do any henna. I was also inspired by so many different romcoms I’ve read and watched throughout the years.
Tell us about a character from your book. What’s your favourite thing about them? Why will readers like them and remember them?
Priti, who is the main character Nishat’s sister. I love that Priti is unquestionably supportive of her sister. Readers will like her because she’s got a very full personality. She’s very dramatic and over the top, but when it comes down to it, the most important things about her are her love for her family, friends, and culture. She’s very memorable in general!
What do you hope readers will take away when reading The Henna Wars?
I hope readers will leave the book feeling empowered about who they are, and proud of it.
What are you currently reading?
Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam
And finally, we’ve heard you speak SEVEN LANGUAGES!? That’s incredible, could you tell us what those languages are and how you came to learn so many?
I don’t speak all of them well! Bengali is my mother tongue so it’s the first language I learned. I grew up hearing and speaking Hindi and Urdu, because I watched mostly Bollywood movies or Hindi TV shows, and I also had/have Pakistani friends and family. In school, I learned French, Irish, and Japanese. And the seventh language is English which I’ve been speaking for almost as long as Bengali!
Find out more about Adiba’s novel, The Henna Wars by clicking on the cover below.