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Map of Home, A

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Hardcover published by Other Press (Other Press)

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About This Book
Nidali, the rebellious daughter of an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, narrates the story of her childhood in Kuwait, her teenage years in Egypt (to where she and her family fled the 1990 Iraqi invasion), and her family's last flight to Texas. Nidali mixes humor with a sharp, loving portrait of an eccentric middle-class family, and this perspective keeps her buoyant through the hardships she encounters: the humiliation of going through a checkpoint on a visit to her father's home in the West Bank; the fights with her father, who wants her to become a famous professor and stay away from boys; the end of her childhood as Iraq invades Kuwait on her thirteenth birthday; and the scare she gives her family when she runs away from home.

Funny, charming, and heartbreaking, A Map of Home is the kind of book Tristram Shandy or Huck Finn would have narrated had they been born Egyptian-Palestinian and female in the 1970s.
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Nidali, the rebellious daughter of an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, narrates the story of her childhood in Kuwait, her teenage years in Egypt (to where she and her family fled the 1990 Iraqi invasion), and her family's last flight to Texas. Nidali mixes humor with a sharp, loving portrait of an eccentric middle-class family, and this perspective keeps her buoyant through the hardships she encounters: the humiliation of going through a checkpoint on a visit to her father's home in the West Bank; the fights with her father, who wants her to become a famous professor and stay away from boys; the end of her childhood as Iraq invades Kuwait on her thirteenth birthday; and the scare she gives her family when she runs away from home.

Funny, charming, and heartbreaking, A Map of Home is the kind of book Tristram Shandy or Huck Finn would have narrated had they been born Egyptian-Palestinian and female in the 1970s.
Product Details
Hardcover (304 pages)
Published: September 2, 2008
Publisher: Other Press
Imprint: Other Press
ISBN: 9781590512722
Other books byRanda Jarrar
  • A Map of Home

    A Map of Home
    A Novel
    From America to the Middle East and back again— the sparkling story of one girl’s childhood, by an exciting new voice in literary fiction In this fresh, funny, and fearless debut novel, Randa Jarrar chronicles the coming-of-age of Nidali, one of the most unique and irrepressible narrators in contemporary fiction. Born in 1970s Boston to an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, the rebellious Nidali—whose name is a feminization of the word “struggle”—soon moves to a very different life in Kuwait. There the family leads a mildly eccentric middle-class existence until the Iraqi invasion drives them first to Egypt and then to Texas. This critically acclaimed debut novel is set to capture the hearts of everyone who has ever wondered what their own map of home might look like. Read Randa Jarrar's posts on the Penguin Blog.

    The Year of the Revolutionary New Bread-Making Machine

    The Year of the Revolutionary New Bread-Making Machine
    It’s bustling 1960s Beirut, and our young protagonist spends his days in his father and uncle’s bakery, admiring the female customers, observing the many colorful characters, and listening in on fascinating grown-up conversations about everything from jaundice to the occult. The rest of the time he’s off with his friends, learning to smoke and spying on women. For the men in the bakery, life is starkly different. Working endless shifts in the furious heat of the old bread oven, they fantasize about escape. Mohammed sings all day long in his beautiful tenor voice, while others lean exhausted on sacks of fl our and dream of becoming wrestlers. When his father acquires the revolutionary new bread-making machine, the workers struggle to adapt to the changed conditions, and one by one their dreams fade into oblivion. A baker was a baker, not what the government deemed he should be; his messy clothes reflected the messy business of manual labour. The bakery itself reflected this too, with its marble step worn thin from years of customer’s feet. Hassan Daoudis chief editor ofNawafez, the cultural supplement forAl Mustaqbalin Beirut. His novels includeThe House of MathildeandThe Penguin’s Song. He lives and works in Beirut.

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