A Woman Is No Man: A Novel by Etaf RumA Woman Is No Man: A Novel by Etaf Rum

A Woman Is No Man: A Novel

byEtaf Rum

Hardcover | March 5, 2019

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A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • A Washington Post 10 Books to Read in March • A Refinery 29 Best Books of the Month • A The Millions Most Anticipated Books of 2019 • A Girls Night In Book Club Pick

“Garnering justified comparisons to Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns... Etaf Rum’s debut novel is a must-read about women mustering up the bravery to follow their inner voice.”   —Refinery 29

“A stunning debut novel that hooked me from page one.  With the utterly compelling characters of three Arab-American women, Rum accomplishes the high-wire act of telling a story that feels both contemporary and timeless, intimate and epic.    —Tara Conklin, New York Times Bestselling Author of THE LAST ROMANTICS

"Where I come from, we’ve learned to silence ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence will save us. Where I come from, we keep these stories to ourselves. To tell them to the outside world is unheard ofdangerous, the ultimate shame.”

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

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: 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 about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, 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.

Title:A Woman Is No Man: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.13 inPublished:March 5, 2019Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062699768

ISBN - 13:9780062699763


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Masterpiece This book is hands down one of the best books I have ever, and likely will ever, read in my lifetime. If you take nothing else away from this review, the bottom line is that reading this book has the potential to completely move you, change you and break your heart wide open. The bravery and courage that Etaf has in bringing this particular story of Palestinian women living in very traditional cultural roles in their families (in America no less) is stunning. This book is a revelation. I devoured this book in a single sitting, staying up well into the night to see what would become of the women in this story, despite knowing that many of the endings would not be happy. I feel like I don't have sufficient or adequate words to review this book - riveting, remarkable, phenomenal, stunning, incredible, moving, heart wrenching, empowering, a masterpiece. Every one of those and more. This is a book that really couldn't, and shouldn't, be boiled down to a short blurb review. Instead I implore you to read this book. Buy it, borrow it, listen to it - just get a copy of this book and digest it. It is a book we should all be reading, because there is a dialogue here that needs to happen in our world. 10 out of 5 stars good. Do not pass this one by.
Date published: 2019-03-09

Editorial Reviews

“Through well-developed characters and a wonderfully paced narrative, [Rum] exposes the impact that the embedded patriarchy of some cultures can have on women while showing more broadly how years of shame, secrets, and betrayal can burden families across generations no matter what the cultural or religious affiliation. Highly recommended.”