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Arabian Jazz: A Novel Paperback – April 17, 2003
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Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
Diana Abu-Jaber writes of what it means to be Arabic, American, an immigrant, a daughter, and a woman trying to find her sense of place in the world and in an often-kooky family. This is done with humor, heart, and breath-stopping prose that are so lovely you will find yourself re-reading passages again and again to hear the rhythm of her language.
I think everyone has an Auntie Fatima, no matter which culture you come from. And I wish I had a Nassir in mine.
Like Abu-Jaber's other novels, she transports you into another culture. Her words are poetic and thought-provoking. It is a beautiful experience to read her writing.
author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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. Read morePublished on November 2, 2006 by Thoughtful
I agree with many of the above reviewers. While it is a fun, sort-of, peek into Arab/American culture, I do not find it to be all that realistic. Read morePublished on September 9, 2004 by A. Gruber
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... Read morePublished on March 21, 2003
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... Read morePublished on December 27, 2001 by M. Adams
This book bounces between the cute and the cliche. The reader feels there is a real story-teller waiting to get out, but suffocating under the author's clumsy craftsmanship. Read morePublished on April 13, 2001
Matussem's story gently dominates the myriad stories about his family's immigrant experiences in the United States. Read morePublished on January 10, 2000 by Myrla Magness