Zoë Ferraris biography

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Zoë Ferraris
photo: Yasmina Ferraris

Zoë Ferraris

Zoë Ferraris Biography

Zoë Ferraris moved to Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the first Gulf War to live with her then-husband and his extended family, a group of Saudi-Palestinian Bedouins who had never welcomed an American into their lives before. She first conceived the idea for Finding Nouf at a jacket bazaar in Jeddah, where her ex-husband bought a "Columbo" coat and proposed setting off to solve mysteries - though to Zoë the only mystery at the time was why they were at a jacket bazaar in the hottest country in the world. She has an M.F.A. from Columbia University and received first prize for mystery fiction at the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference in 2003. She currently lives in San Francisco with her teenage daughter.



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Interview

Zoë Ferraris answers questions about her first novel, Finding Nouf, the first in an amateur detective series set in Saudi Arabia

First of all, I think people would like to know your connection to Saudi Arabia, so they don't think you're making this all up.

Well, actually, I made it up. But there's also a lot of real Saudi Arabia in the book.

When I was nineteen, I got married to a Saudi-Palestinian Bedouin. We met in San Francisco, and I fell completely in love with him. He was hilarious and brilliant and over-the-top zany. He had come to America to study English. He told his parents that once he was fluent, he would go back to Jeddah. So he never became fluent. Learning English – actually, he called it "Languish" – was just going to have to take forever.  

We got married and had a daughter. The day she was born, he decided that we had to visit his family in Jeddah. Just a short visit, you know, to show off his new wife and kid. We wound up staying for almost a year. It turns out that you can't just visit for a week or two. You have to stay until his mother stops having heart episodes every time you go to the airport.


So you didn't get along with your...

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Books by this Author

Books by Zoë Ferraris at BookBrowse
Kingdom of Strangers jacket City of Veils jacket Finding Nouf jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Zoë Ferraris but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Author Image Not Available

    Sophia Al-Maria

    Sophia Al-Maria is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. She studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo, and aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work has been exhibited at ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Finding Nouf

    Try:
    The Girl Who Fell to Earth
    by Sophia Al-Maria

  • Carmen Bin Ladin

    Carmen Bin Ladin

    Carmen Bin Ladin/ Carmen Dufour was born in 1954 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her father was Swiss, hence the name Dufour, and her mother was Persian. She was raised in Lausanne by her mother along with three other sisters.

    From... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Finding Nouf

    Try:
    Inside The Kingdom
    by Carmen Bin Ladin

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