What kind of question would you like answered?

Q: You’ve said before that you think Hassan is the only one of your characters whose voice you could re-imagine. Why?

Well, I’m just very fond of Hassan. I don’t even really understand why. But I still think about him a lot and imagine him making jokes. So if someone put a gun to my head or something and told me to write a sequel to one of my books, it would probably involve Hassan in some way, because he’s the only character I still think about a lot.

Q: Why did you have Hassan drink and kiss a girl? Was it a point about restriction?

Well, if Islam forbids premarital kissing, I am unaware of it.

That said, drinking alcohol is unambiguously haram, and by having him drink, I wanted to point out that religious faith and practice exists on a continuum: Many Muslims don’t pray five times a day. Many Muslims drink alcohol. Many Jews don’t keep kosher.

These narrow definitions of religiosity don’t hold up, at least not to Hassan.