Etaf Rum is a brave new voice to watch. An Arab- American voice. A WOMAN IS NO MAN is her first novel. And it’s going to be a block-buster. Not since THE KITE RUNNER have I read a novel that delves into the hidden lives of a culture. And this time we find horrific things are happening right here in this country. In plain sight? Well, no. But close enough.
A WOMAN IS NO MAN tells the story of three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn.
Isra is a seventeen-year-old Palestinian girl living with her parents in Birzeit, Palestine, who is married off to a young Palestinian man named Adam who takes her to America to live the dream. But it’s really a nightmare.
Adam’s mother is Fareeda. She’s been living in Brooklyn for years after emigrating from Palestine with her husband and children. She’s determined that Isra give Adam a son. No matter what.
Deya is Isra’s eldest daughter. Her story is so compelling I found myself being held hostage to the page. I could not turn away. I HAD to know what had happened.
There is a page in the very front of the book that is written by the author. You can feel the fear as you read. Etaf Rum was scared for her life as she began writing this novel. Once you’ve read the book you will totally understand why. I am still reeling from this heartfelt and terrifying story. Even though I know this story is fiction, I know of where it comes. The very first two sentences are: “When I started writing A WOMAN IS NO MAN, I was constantly swallowed by fear. Telling this story meant challenging many long-held beliefs in my community and violating our code of silence.”
This has been the year of the woman. Woman are getting their voices. I get this. But this voice is especially strong and meant to be heard. An Arab-American voice is needed in the bookstore. And here it is.
We have copies of this amazing new novel at Copperfish. They will go quickly. Come on into the store to pick up your copy and get 20% off.
My review copy of A WOMAN IS NO MAN arrived from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. I LOVED it!