BookBrowse Reviews Finding Nouf by Zoë Ferraris

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Finding Nouf

by Zoë Ferraris

Finding Nouf
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2008, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2009, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Offers an intimate glimpse inside a closed society through a riveting literary mystery

Finding Nouf (first published in the UK as Night of the Mi'raj) is as much a riveting mystery as it is an absorbing profile of the conflict between the traditional and the modern in Saudi Arabian/Islamic culture. The latter is deftly carried out in the characterizations of desert guide Nayir al-Sharqi, assistant medical examiner Katya Hijazi and, by proxy, murder victim Nouf Ash-Shrawi.

Nouf is the sixteen-year-old daughter of a wealthy and powerful Saudi family. Is there any other kind, you ask? Well, it turns out there is and therein lies the appeal of this story. Ferraris shows us that not only are there non-wealthy Arabs but there are other ways of viewing their rigid (by Western standards) lifestyle and the strict rules governing inter-gender relationships. When we first meet ...

About the Author
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 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. Finding Nouf is her first novel.

Coming Soon: The second in the series, as yet not publicly named, appears to be publishing in the UK in April 2010, so there's a good chance it will publish in the USA in either the Spring or Fall of 2010.

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Beyond the Book:
  The Bedouin of Saudi Arabia

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