WIn A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza


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A Place for Us

A Place for Us jacket

The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity and belonging.

A Place for Us unfolds the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family, gathered together in their Californian hometown to celebrate the eldest daughter, Hadia's, wedding – a match of love rather than tradition. It is here, on this momentous day, that Amar, the youngest of the siblings, reunites with his family for the first time in three years. Rafiq and Layla must now contend with the choices and betrayals that lead to their son's estrangement – the reckoning of parents who strove to pass on their cultures and traditions to their children; and of children who in turn struggle to balance authenticity in themselves with loyalty to the home they came from.

In a narrative that spans decades and sees family life through the eyes of each member, A Place For Us charts the crucial moments in the family's past, from the bonds that bring them together to the differences that pull them apart. And as siblings Hadia, Huda, and Amar attempt to carve out a life for themselves, they must reconcile their present culture with their parent's faith, to tread a path between the old world and the new, and learn how the smallest decisions can lead to the deepest of betrayals.

A deeply affecting and resonant story, A Place for Us is truly a book for our times: a moving portrait of what it means to be an American family today, a novel of love, identity and belonging that eloquently examines what it means to be both American and Muslim - and announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.
Reviews

"I am so grateful this book came into my hands, it was a wonderful reading experience and I highly recommend it to all readers (Cheryl S). This is one of the best books that I have read in years. I'm pretty stingy with my stars but I would give this book six stars if I could (Joan P). It would be an excellent book club choice as it wrestles with cultural clashes, family dynamics and individual choices (Linda W)." - BookBrowse

"Absolutely gorgeous...Mirza writes about family life with the wisdom, insight and patience you would expect from a mature novelist adding a final masterpiece to her canon, but this is, fortunately, just the start of an extraordinary career…. Has a household ever been cradled in such tender attention as this novel provides?... As Marilynne Robinson has done with Protestants and Alice McDermott has done with Catholics, Mirza finds in the intensity of a faithful Muslim family a universal language of love and anguish that speaks to us all... In prose of quiet beauty and measured restraint, Mirza traces those twined strands of yearning and sorrow that faith involves. She writes with a mercy that encompasses all things.... Each time I stole away into this novel, it felt like a privilege to dwell among these people, to fall back under the gentle light of Mirza’s words." - Ron Charles, Washington Post

"Ambitious… a family epic that is textured and keenly felt… Mirza draws Amar’s lifelong struggle with the concept of unconditional devotion so poignantly that readers will find it exceedingly relatable. But so too is the mysterious whisper in his ear urging him always to return, no matter how far he strays, back home." - New York Times Book Review

"“The thinking person’s summer read, a rich and layered tale about family and assimilation." - Entertainment Weekly

"[An] impassioned debut novel… Mirza is attuned to the subtle ways in which siblings and parents compete for one another's affection. A ruminative final section, in which the father addresses his wayward son, is a moving coda." - The New Yorker

"The book dives into the lives of a Muslim-American family, opening on the eve of the eldest daughter's marriage, and examines the intricacies of a family straddling two very different cultures." - Vanity Fair

"A Place for Us is a stunning novel about love, compassion, cruelty and forgiveness — the very things that make families what they are…[Mirza’s] writing is gorgeous, unadorned but beautiful… a miracle of a book. It is a major accomplishment, a work of real beauty and fierce originality." - Michael Schaub, NPR.org

"In polished prose that zeroes in on domestic detail and, at its loveliest, recalls Jhumpa Lahiri, Mirza delivers a portrait of a family straining to hold its center amid rebellions both quiet and explosive." - TIME

"A rich portrait of a fractured Muslim family…With unwavering compassion, this beautiful heartbreaker unravels the mystery of who may be to blame for Amar’s estrangement." - People

"Mirza displays a particular talent for rendering her characters' innermost emotional lives, signaling a writer to watch." - Publishers Weekly

"Each complex, surprising character struggles with faith, responsibility, racism, fear, longing, and jealousy, while Mirza conveys with graceful specificity the rhythms of Muslim life, from prayer to wearing hijab, gender etiquette, food, holidays, and values, all of which illuminate universal quandaries about family, self, culture, beliefs, and generational change." - Booklist

"Because of the structure, the time line of events is at times confusing. What Mirza does best is show how family dynamics can shape one's life and how seemingly inconsequential events can have a large impact over time." - Library Journal

"A Place for Us is a radiantly envisioned, beautifully achieved epic about nearly everything that matters: love, family, faith, freedom, betrayal, contrition, absolution. Fatima Farheen Mirza is a magnificent new voice." - Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and The Tsar of Love and Techno

"This extraordinary, piercingly wise novel examines as profoundly as any book I know the threads of injury and grace that stitch together a family. Fatima Farheen Mirza has the passionate intelligence and moral vision that announce not merely an excellent writer, but a great one. I felt such gratitude reading this fiercely compassionate debut, and such joy at discovering a voice I will follow for the rest of my life." - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"Fatima Farheen Mirza's A Place for Us is a radiant debut. It accretes its power, beauty, and insight through its tender witnessing of private and family life. With her deeply compassionate view, Mirza dignifies terrain often desecrated by contemporary culture: maternity, faith, the bonds of community, the yearning for goodness, and our duty to others. She shows us the destructiveness of our doubt in those we love, and the mercy of forgiveness. Most wondrously, with this felt and moving novel, Mirza creates a place in which rebellion and reverence seem to embrace." - Charmaine Craig, author of Miss Burma

About This Sweepstake
We have 5 hardcover copies of A PLACE FOR US by FATIMA FARHEEN MIRZA to give away.
This offer is open to residents of the USA only, except for BookBrowse members who are welcome to enter wherever they live.
Giveaway ends July 30, 2018

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