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A Woman Is No Man

A Novel

by Etaf Rum

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum X
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2019, 352 pages
    Feb 2020, 368 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book


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Interesting on multiple levels
Culture is the invisible string that controls our behavior. This author illuminates that philosophy in the characters of this book. A Palestinian family seeking refuge in the United States settles in a New York City of like minded immigrants in a tight knit community of Arabs and attempts to bring their Middle Eastern lifestyle with them.The story centers around the life of Isra, the young woman who is brought from Palestine to the U.S. when marrying this family’s oldest son, Adam. And woe is the life of an Arab woman whose first responsibility is to produce sons. Isra births four daughters. She is abused by her husband, becomes a slave to the family and lives a life devoid of pleasure and filled with acts of duty. She befriends her sister in law, Sarah, who fights against the arranged marriage her mother tries to force on her. The culture clash between the generations plays out as it pits the grandparent’s wishes against those of their children and grandchildren. The book is well written and structured to keep the reader’s attention as the story advances. It also delves into the story of Palestinian refugees and gives a broader appreciation of the challenges faced by immigrant communities, especially as they attempt to exist within American culture.
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Beyond the Book:
  Arab Americans at a Glance

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