Searching for Zion and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $8.55 (34%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Condition: Used: Good
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

Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora Hardcover – January 8, 2013


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, January 8, 2013
$16.45
$3.99 $1.74

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of January
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Frequently Bought Together

Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora + Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Ala Notable Books for Adults)
Price for both: $35.40

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120038
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"In this profound and accessible meditation on race, novelist (The Professor’s Daughter) and scholar Raboteau depicts her travels from Israel and Jamaica to Africa and the Deep South in search of the elusive African-American notion of “home.”" Publishers Weekly

From Booklist

"Part political statement, part memoir, this intense personal account roots the mythic perilous journey in the writer’s search for home, in the U.S. and across the globe... sure to inspire intense debate about the search for meaning." —Booklist

More About the Author

Emily Raboteau (b. 1976) is the author of a novel, The Professor's Daughter, and a work of creative nonfiction, Searching for Zion, winner of a 2014 American Book Award. Her fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, The New York Times, Tin House, Salon, McSweeney's, The Guardian, Guernica, The Believer and elsewhere. Honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony. An avid world traveler, Raboteau resides in New York City where she teaches creative writing at City College, in Harlem.

Customer Reviews

I agree with another commentator that this rich book deserves a second read.
Joan Lester
SEARCHING FOR ZION: THE QUEST FOR HOME IN THE AFRICAN DIASPORA by Emily Raboteau (2013, 350 pages) is a most compelling, fascinating and absorbing read.
E. (Harry) Hernandez
If you've ever felt alienated or exiled, or wondered who you are or where you might fit in, this book will speak to you.
Louis N. Gruber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. (Harry) Hernandez VINE VOICE on February 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
SEARCHING FOR ZION: THE QUEST FOR HOME IN THE AFRICAN DIASPORA by Emily Raboteau (2013, 350 pages) is a most compelling, fascinating and absorbing read. Raboteau, a writing teacher at City College in Harlem, explains her personal, painful journey through our world in a quest for her own identity, her own "home".

Perhaps seeking something she can never get from her distant black father (one of America's most prominent professors of religious history) yet completely ignoring her white mother, New Jersey-born Raboteau starts us with her journey to see her childhood best friend, a devout Jew living in Israel. Raboteau ended with the painful shock of trying to get into Israel at all - she looked too Arab. Once there, she was hurt by the suffering of both the Palestinians and the Jews.

It was strange to see Raboteau's photo all over the net. She looks just like my baby sister: white as a sheet, black hair, deep brown eyes. I have seen a photo of one of her brothers, who looks just like my four brothers: black except with mocha skin. Raboteau herself is as painfully white as I am, contrary to her self-described "wooden spoon" complexion. I know how that feels, not wanting to be quite so pale one day, wondering whether I am really all that pale another day.

This color-confusion makes no sense, and Raboteau never found any answer for it. She would find in Israel she was often mistaken for an Arab; in Maine, close to her native New Jersey she felt what it was like to be purely black since "there are no blacks in Maine"; in Jamaica, probably the most hypocritical place on the planet, she felt what it was like to be despised as "white" (which she technically is according to her skin color).
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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trudie Barreras VINE VOICE on February 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an astoundingly powerful memoir that is in fact much more than a memoir. To say that it educated me in many areas about which I previously hadn't a clue, including the culture of reggae music and Rastafarians, the existence of Beta Israel, and a great deal of the history of parts of Africa, is just the beginning. In addition, Raboteau brought into clearer focus some recent events with which I have personal connections, such as the Civil Rights marches and boycotts in Alabama (we were teaching at Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University from 1966 - 1974). And then of course there is the vivid description shared in the last section of the book concerning Hurricane Katrina as viewed through the eyes of her cousins.

What I believe Raboteau has accomplished most in superlative style, however, is to share a tremendous diversity of cultural, sociological and spiritual insight not only with keen and vivid observation and lyrical description, but also without losing a sense of balance and reality. She neither glosses over defects in the various circumstances, characters and situations she describes, nor does she become critically judgmental. She "tells it like she experienced it", and leaves the readers to enter with her into the immediacy of the experience or not, as they see fit. The characters she introduces us to are real and fascinating people, not stereotypes in any sense of the word.

The book does indeed leave me a bit breathless and amazed that this young woman was brave enough to investigate all those various cultures, many in states of upheaval and even violent transition, by herself. Never having been a particularly intrepid adventurer, I doubt if I'd have even begun a similar Odyssey. However, although at times she left me feeling a bit white-knuckled, she also left me with a profound sense that I'd enjoyed a valuable opportunity for an enriching glimpse of a vibrant world quite far from my own.
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Jackson VINE VOICE on February 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Searching for Zion by Emily Raboteau is a soul-bearing contemplative journey seeking an answer to the question – “So, where is my home?” Growing up in the privileged environment of Princeton, New Jersey where her father was a professor specializing in antebellum African-American Christianity, Emily was aware she was different. Finding kinship with another girl, Tamar, who was also different as her father was a professor in medieval Jewish history, the girls learned and bonded around their connected history of oppression and the concept of the Promised Land. Disillusioned by America’s false hope of equality, her family’s unspoken ghosts of past racial transmissions, acerbated by her father’s leaving the family, Emily spent most of her young adult life in a “blanket of low-burning rage” until a vile humiliating incident with EL Al security staff turns up the flame. Emily realizes despite whatever imperfections that may exist, her friend, Tamar had her Zion – Israel, a real physical place that she can call home, and her mind is screaming where is my Promised Land (home). Thus the seed for the author to explore places Blacks have sought out to settle and establish a sense of home was germinated.

This fluidly-written book takes the reader on an honest and intimate voyage to Israel, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Ghana and the American South. At each stop, Emily pays attention to the truth of each community and the reality of their situation while getting to the bottom of identity, citizenship, acceptance, and commitment. Always asking the frank questions why are you here in this place, are you better in this place, would you leave this place and did your mind, body, spirit find the solace you were seeking.
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

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?