Arabian Jazz: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $2.24 (14%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Murfbooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item is in good condition. May include some wear and creases on the cover. Fast shipping. Free delivery confirmation with every order.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Arabian Jazz: A Novel Paperback – April 17, 2003


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.71
$9.26 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Arabian Jazz: A Novel + Crescent: A Novel
Price for both: $26.77

Buy the selected items together
  • Crescent: A Novel $13.06

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (April 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393324222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393324228
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #897,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Jordanian widower and his family adjust to life in upstate New York in this impressive first novel.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

You're an Arab-American writing about your community in your first novel. Should you go for a comic/satirical treatment? Do something more serious, emphasizing cultural displacement? Or broaden your canvas to include the white, nonethnic neighbors? Abu- Jaber has tried all three tacks and been overwhelmed in the process. The Ramoud family, father and two grown daughters, live in a small town in upstate New York and work at the same hospital in Syracuse. The father, Matussem, emigrated from Jordan as a young man and fell in love with and married Nora, an Irish-American who interpreted his new country for him. Since her death from typhus on a trip to Jordan, the gentle, passive Matussem has found a refuge in jazz (he's a drummer with his own group) and caring for his daughters. The younger, Melvina, is no problem; only 22, she's already Head Nurse. But Jemorah, the protagonist by default in this plotless novel, is another story. Stuck in a clerical job she hates, Jem's pushing 30 and still single, which is driving her Aunt Fatima nuts. (Fatima, whose life's ambition is to join the worthy Arab matrons on the Ladies' Pontifical Committee, is the main satirical target here.) None of Jem's three possible mates is very plausible. There's Gilbert Sesame, a fast-talking pool hustler who's here one minute, gone the next; Ricky Ellis, a local grease monkey with whom Jem makes love in the bushes; and cousin Nassir, fresh from Jordan, who warns Jem about her extended family, ``a cult organization.'' Eventually, after two crudely engineered encounters with bigots, she decides that postgraduate research into race prejudice is the answer. The other elements in this mishmash (visiting Jordanians on a credit-card rampage, poor whites tormenting themselves with coathangers and booze) only add to the confusion. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Diana Abu-Jaber's latest novel, Birds of Paradise, won the National Arab American Book Award and was named a top book pick by the Washington Post, NPR, Chicago Tribune, and the Oregonian.

Her previous Origin, is a literary psychological thriller which has received starred reviews from both Publisher's Weekly and Booklist and won the Northwest Booksellers Award.

Her memoir-with-recipes, entitled The Language of Baklava, was a Border's Original Voices selection and was included in Best Food Writing 2005. It also won the 2006 Northwest Booksellers' Award.

Her novel, Crescent (W.W. Norton), won the PEN Center Award for Literary fiction and the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award. It was also named a Notable Book of the Year by the Christian Science Monitor. Her first novel, Arabian Jazz (W.W. Norton) won the Oregon Book award.

Abu-Jaber currently teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland, Oregon and Miami, Florida.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This light-hearted and imaginative novel portrays a Jordanian family as they adjust to life in the United States. Jazz musician and widower Mattusem Ramoud has raised his two daughters alone since his wife's death, balancing their lives as Americans with their Jordanian hertiage. The extended family is like any other large, eccentric group of people, full of intensity and humor, loving each other unconditionally through whatever difficulties arise.
Jemorah and Melvina have reached marriageable age and their Aunt Fatima, Matussem's sister, is determined that this year, during "Family Function Season", at least Jemorah will find a husband before she is old enough to be disqualified as a spinster. The search is on and Fatima leaves no stone unturned, offering an assortment of odd relatives, second cousins and distant "uncles". But Jemora is in no hurry to make a choice that will alter the course of her life, determined to make a well-informed decision.
This intimate peek into one Arab-American family's experience, blends two generations of Ramouds, all of them quirky and colorful. Many are recent visitors from Jordan who speak in fractured English that renders them even more charming and eccentric, if that is possible, as Abu-Jaber holds her finger directly on the pulse of this remarkable family. Cousin Saiid enthuses, "I must be in heaven, man. You are our cousins, man? This is completely, like, my mind is psyching out."
Old Country fables abound, along with the foolish antics of the younger generation in this eclectic mix of characters. Each page is a delight, bursting with life and energy, family connections and intimate portraits of the bonds of love. Whatever Jemorah decides, she will always have a soft place to fall, her Jordanian-American family her greatest asset.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mishka M on July 22, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Worth reading, though the first few pages (and some later) are extremely disappointing. Arabic names are mispronounced, the attempt at comedy is poor, and none of the characters are remotely sympathetic. As the book proceeds, we meet a very different kind of writing. Some of the passages in the book are exceptionally insightful and well written. For those passages it is well worth reading the book. I would rate the book between 1 and 5. It won't tell you much about Arab culture except in parody, but it portrays alienation and prejudice with candor and poignancy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Daney on November 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read three of Diane Abu Jaber's novels, and this was my least favorite. I did not identify with the characters as easily as I did in her other novels, and the story and characters were not as believable The main characters in Crescent and The Language of Baklava were more real, and the plots were more engaging.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most beautifully written, beautifully conceived, and masterfully executed works of fiction I have read in years. I would liken its comic force to the very best of John Barth or Italo Calvino; its tragic dimensions are reminiscent of Annie Proulx's Postcards. Arabian Jazz is a small masterpiece, as finely crafted as polished stone. Anyone who wishes to see where fiction ought to take us should read this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David J. Gannon on May 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
Arabian Jazz recounts the experiences of an Arab-American immigrant family living in a depressed area of upstate Ney York. The story revolves around the themes of family, race, marriage and loss as the two grown daughters of Matussem Ramoud, daytime hospiatal maintenance man and night time jazz drummer work through the pressures of work, family pressure to marry "correctly" and the loss of their mother early in childhood.
While I found the primary characters engaging and the story often moving, this book suffers, greatly at times, from what I'd describe as "First Novel Faults". Many of the secondary characters have no substance, or have substance but appear and disapper from the narrative in haphazzard ways. The novel attempts to paint a picture of life in the community overall but does so in an inadequate, stilted manner at odds with the heart of the story. Some of the personal confrontations are contrived and some of the characters come across as stereotypes.
All of those faults notwithstanding, the book nevertheless paints a vivid, moving picture of the immigrant experience, the difficulties inherent in interacial interpersonal relations and the groping for familial healing in the face of loss. In the end, the power of the story, the realism of the primary characters, and the sense of genuine love that suffuses the narrative more than compensate for the technical problems that crop up from time to time. I heartily recommend this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thoughtful on November 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting but not super as her novel Crescent was. Crescent was really a wonderful novel that I have given as a gift to many friends. I was hoping to feel this way about Arabian Jazz.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Adams on December 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. The characters were multi dimensional, and very realistic. It is a fictional work that provides a birds' eye view into a sub culture that is very real and rich in America.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Briliant! Showing a deft touch for character and charming with high hilarity, Diana Abu-Jaber introduces us to a world so beautifully realized it can only be described as saturated. Caught by ancestry, the role of women in Jordan and America, family tragedy, personal ambition, romance, and anxiety, two sisters strive to rework a habitable America. Abu-Jaber's Dickensian ability to juggle a burgeoning cast and her enormous tragicomic talent (reminiscent of Louise Erdrich and Annie Proulx) produce a jewel of a book. A series of darting revelations instantly grace what had been even some of the book's stock characters with a presence and beauty that had me making silent "oh's" with my mouth.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?