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, ,

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