The Butterfly Jungle

A badass queer British-Somali journalist navigates sex, mental health and the gig-economy

Migil Bile is a confidently curvy, tea-spilling, super-bright, slightly-dizzy queer British-Somali journalist with schizoaffective disorder and sauce to spare. Ensconced deep in the drama of being a twenty-something, working-class South Londoner juggling one too many gig-economy jobs, wonky mental health and romantic wackness, he takes the unsuspecting reader on an existential meditation on immigration, Brexit, gentrification, sexual assault, the pitfalls of being a digital worker, what it’s like when all your immediate family members are on the LGBT spectrum, and explores what constitutes community and kinship during a global pandemic.

Shot through with bombast and badassery, fusing Somali, Spanish, Kiswahili, patois, sheng and hip-hop slanguistics into a sex-drenched, fourth wall-smashing blend of poetry, letters, essayistic excursions and interlinked short stories, ‘The Butterfly Jungle’ is a tour de force and Diriye Osman is a bad bitch/good-natured motherf*cker who never takes mess (but doesn’t mind splitting his lunch money with you.)

Ain’t sh*t left to say.

Dig in, reader. 

(from Goodreads)

More about this collection

Author Diriye Osman’s website

You Belong Here, Beloved Reader – An Interview with Diriye Osman at The New Inquiry. This is a great interview that delves into the author’s writing process (and you will learn a thing or two about afro-futurism as well!)

Where Diriye Osman draws his Flamboyance – more background on the author and his inspirations


“I am a free black man whose body is a testament to surviving unspeakable terror. I am a free black man, and although my memories are ancient, I am a map of new dreams; a cartography of a smooth-and-swift-with-the-scalpel imagination.”

Diriye Osman, The Butterfly Jungle, ,


This site is a labor of love so many entries could benefit from more quotes, links to interesting background material, author interviews, etc. If you have material for the collection on this page, please get in touch.

Unless otherwise noted, the blurb is adapted from Goodreads.
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