A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

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New York Times Bestseller

The New York Times bestseller and Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick that reveals the lives of three generations of Palestinian-American women in Brooklyn, an emotionally resonant and culturally impactful story of love, secrets, courage, and duty that speaks to the lives and experiences of all women today—giving voice to the silenced and agency to the oppressed, now available as a limited Olive Edition from Harper Perennial.

A Woman Is No Man complicates and deepens the Arab American story—a tale as rich and varied as America itself.”— Diana Abu-Jaber, Washington Post

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Her desires are irrelevant, however—over the course of a week, the naive and dreamy girl finds herself betrothed, then married, and soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law, Fareeda, and her strange new husband, Adam: a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Isra is expected to bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. At her grandmother’s insistence, eighteen-year-old Deya must meet with potential husbands, though her only desire is to go to college. Her grandmother is firm on the matter, however: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man. But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her family, the past, and her own future.

Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman Is No Man is a story of culture and honor, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. It is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
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