Let’s get one thing straight: Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World is not a book of advice. You’re not going to find a step-by-step guide to meditation here, or even reminders to drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Those things are all good for you, but that’s not what Hana Shafi wants to talk about.
Instead, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty—built around art from Shafi’s popular online affirmation series—focuses on our common and never-ending journey of self-discovery. It explores the ways in which the world can all too often wear us down, and reminds us to remember our worth, even when it’s hard to do so. Drawing on her experience as a millennial woman of colour, and writing with humour and a healthy dose of irreverence, Shafi delves into body politics and pop culture, racism and feminism, friendship, and allyship. Through it all, she remains positive without being saccharine, and hopeful without being naive.
So no, this is not an advice book: it’s a call to action, one that asks us to remember that we are valid as we are—flaws and all—and to not let the bastards grind us down.
Praise for Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty:
“Hana revisits her wildly popular and comforting affirmations, stretching them out into tender coming-of-age stories and pointed social reflections. With her brash wit and honesty on display, this is the book that Frizz Kid / Hana Shafi fans (and new fans) have been waiting for.” —Vivek Shraya, author of The Subtweet and I’m Afraid of Men
“Hana Shafi writes important, intelligent, and honest essays that encourage understanding, essential thinking, create dialogue, and are a channel for tenderness. In fact, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty might just change the world! Reading this book not only makes us feel more hopeful, it might just make us smarter, too.” —Bif Naked, Singer and songwriter
“If a summer feel-good movie was a collection of sweet affirmations, this would be it. Touching, honest, and everything I wish I had read growing up as an awkward kid. If you’ve ever wanted to experience the women’s ritual of being affirmed in a public restroom, this is your book.” —Anasimone George, Comedian
10 Buzzworthy Canadian Authors to Watch —TIFA Blog
Most Anticipated: Our 2020 Fall Nonfiction Preview —49th Shelf
2020 Fall Preview: Non-fiction —Quill and Quire
47 Works of Canadian Nonfiction Coming out in Fall 2020 —CBC Books
25 Picks from this Fall’s Book Bonanza —Toronto Star
What We’re Reading: Editors’ Picks, Fall 2020 —Hamilton Review of Books
The Kids Are Mad as Hell: An Excerpt from Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty by Hana Shafi —The Walrus
What’s On Our Pop Culture Radar This September —ELLE Canada
Fall books preview: Plan a reading marathon with these 68 best picks —Becky Toyne, The Globe and Mail
Fall Preview 2020: Staff Picks —All Lit Up
Hana Shafi Tackles Mental Health, Body Positivity, Racism, and More in Her New Book: A Voice of a Generation —Allie Turner, NUVO Magazine
Affirmations for the Real World with Hana Shafi —All Write in Sin City Podcast
In the height of quarantine, I reverted to my teenage self: An essay by Hana Shafi —All Lit Up
Hana Shafi’s New Book Encourages Empathy and Self-care —Marcus Medford, New Canadian Media
“This book is compelling because it seeks to provide readers with a little bit of joy while acknowledging that the world is still real and often hard to deal with. Shafi never focuses these affirmations on toxic positivity, instead choosing to root them in resilience. Reading this book is like trying to make sense of your place in the world through a conversation with a very supportive friend.” —Meera Eragoda, The Peak
Failing at Calorie Counting Helped Me Love Everything Else About My Body: An Excerpt from Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty by Hana Shafi —Montecristo Magazine
Hana Shafi creates affirmations to celebrate the imperfect —Quill and Quire
“I can’t say enough about Hana Shafi’s latest book, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty. It is a treasure of a book; the balm for a tumultuous year.” —Rachel Fernandes, The Miramichi Reader
Bingemas: For the Affirmationist —All Lit Up
Hana Shafi’s affirmations celebrate life at its messiest —Broadview
Favourite Reads of 2020 —Jessica Rose, Not My Typewriter
“Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty is paramount in value. Narratives like Shafi’s are ones I wished I had at a younger age, but am ever grateful for now… This is why the stories of marginalized voices hold the utmost importance. Not only does the author deserve to take up space but also the impact it has on other marginalized people reading these narratives is monumental. Thank you, Hana Shafi, for being our Dolly Parton—in the way you know in your heart that she will accept you wholeheartedly, thank you for the belief that you will accept us as we are, too.” —Namitha Rathinappillai, Canthius
Hana Shafi on on Small, Broke and Kind of Dirty —CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers
“[Shafi’s] real, radical vulnerability and acceptance carries its power from the beginning of the book through to the finish.” —Claire Wilcox, Shrapnel Magazine
“Shafi writes as if she is sitting down with you for a coffee to tell you her life story.” —Shelby Monita, Broken Pencil Magazine
Hana Shafi (a.k.a. Frizz Kid) is a writer and artist. Her visual art and writing frequently explores themes such as feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. Her first book, It Begins with the Body, was listed by CBC as one of the Best Poetry Books of 2018. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Journalism Program, she has published articles in The Walrus, Hazlitt, THIS Magazine, and Torontoist, and has been featured on Buzzfeed, CBC, and in Flare, Shameless, and The New York Times. Known on Instagram for her weekly affirmation series, Shafi is the recipient of the 2017 Women Who Inspire Award, from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. Born in Dubai, Shafi immigrated with her family to Mississauga, Ontario, in 1996. She lives and works in Toronto.