Vivek Shraya

God Loves Hair

Paperback • 112 pages • Released 29 April 2010 (self-published ed.) • Re-released 8 April 2014 by Arsenal Pulp Press

An illustration of a pair of scissors with brightly-coloured handles descending into a flurry of black locks, with the text “GOD LOVES HAIR: Stories by Vivek Shraya. Artwork by Juliana Neufeld.”

Also available at

God Loves Hair is Vivek Shraya’s first book, a collection of 21 short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging.

Told with the poignant insight and honesty that only the voice of a young mind can convey, the stories are accompanied by the award-winning illustrations of Toronto artist Juliana Neufeld.

Read the afterword

“Slow Bridges”


  • 2015 South Asia Book Award
  • 2010 Applied Arts Illustration Award


  • 23rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards

God Loves Hair is a DIY masterpiece.

A book for all ages, this will be especially welcomed by contemporary genderqueer youth and twentysomethings, who will see themselves in these vividly realized pages.

A rich and powerful exploration of gender, sexuality, religion, race, and the desire to fit in.

Shraya’s stripped-down prose has documentary force, and Neufeld’s illustrations, with their intersecting planes of translucent color and their linoleum block-style images, add humor and bite. It’s an important addition to the library of coming-out literature.

Shraya’s endearing descriptions of childhood and adolescence are both humorous and heartbreaking.

Running the emotional spectrum from shame to pleasure and acceptance, Shraya offers a refreshing window into the intimate struggles of youth.

A touching, poetic exploration of budding sexuality, the mys­ti­cism of religion, and family dynamics.

— Brian Francis (Fruit)


More Press

Watch the teaser

Watch a reading

Download an excerpt

An illustration of a yellow cartoon character with a bushy “unibrow,” and the word “Eyebrows” written across it in white lettering.

Bhajans for Mom

An illustration of a young brown-skinned boy with eyes closed and hands clasped in front of his face in prayer, and the text “I’m only a few days till Sunday.”

Bhajans for Mom is a collection of eight Hindu devotional songs performed and produced by Vivek. Listen to them now, or download them all for free.


  • God Loves Hair press photo by Karen Campos
  • Lambda Literary Awards (May 2011)
  • Vancouver reading
  • Pink Pages cover (December 2010)
  • Interview with Vivek in Mid-Day (November 2010)
  • Word on the Street (2010)
  • God Loves Hair book launch (2010)
  • God Loves Hair launch, Arsenal Pulp Press edition (2014)