9780393325546 198


A Novel


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"Abu-Jaber's voluptuous prose features insights into the Arab American community that are wisely, warmly depicted."—San Francisco Chronicle

Sirine, the heroine of this "deliciously romantic romp" (Vanity Fair) is thirty-nine, never married, and living in the Arab-American community of Los Angeles. She has a passion for cooking and works contentedly in a Lebanese restaurant, while her storytelling uncle and her saucy boss, Umm Nadia, believe she should be trying harder to find a husband. One day Hanif, a handsome professor of Arabic literature, an Iraqi exile, comes to the restaurant. Sirine falls in love and finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about Hanif, as well as her own torn identity as an Arab-American.


Crescent is a rich, delicious concoction that has you rooting for the star-crossed lovers.” — John Muncie, The Baltimore Sun

“A story that unfolds beautifully, as lightly and naturally as a roll of silk.” — The Nation

“[A] lovely urgent mix of Scheherazade-style storytelling and treatise on the loneliness of exile.” — Andrea Spencer, Oregonian

“Abu-Jaber is a high-spirited, magnificently graceful storyteller, a poet of deliciously fluted fiction, character, and culture.” — Naomi Shihab Nye

“It is a story about how to cook and how to eat, and how to live in the new country. And, like all good novels, it is about how to tell a story.” — Sigrid Nunez

“[A] beautifully imagined and timely novel.” — Publishers Weekly

“Wise, spirited, and evocative.” — Library Journal

“Gorgeously written and deeply imagined, this novel is both a fable and a plea—a book that weaves a hypnotic, lasting spell.” — Beth Kephart, Book Magazine

“A powerful story about the loneliness of exile and the limits of love. An impressive second outing by Abu-Jaber.” — Kirkus Reviews


Winner — American Book Award, 2004

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    Origin: A Novel

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    "Finally, a novel of literary suspense that gets almost everything right—forensically and psychologically." —Sarah Weinman, Baltimore Sun
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    Origin: A Novel

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