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The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf: A Novel Paperback – September 12, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In comp lit professor Kahf's fiction debut, Khadra Shamy recalls growing up in an immigrant Syrian family in 1970s Indianapolis. Khadra's devout parents raise Khadra and her older brother, Eyad, to be observant of Islamic customs. The inevitable culture clashes ensue, from taunts of "raghead" and "go back where you came from" to the varying interpretations of Islamic code among the community's other Muslims. The mutability of ordinary cultural crossroads—along with the shock of violent ones, such as the rape and murder of one of Khadra's friends—force Khadra to continually question what it means to be "Muslim" or "American." After a short and disastrous marriage to an overbearing husband (he forbids her to ride a bike; she has an abortion), Khadra travels to Syria—now mired in political and religious strife—and returns to the United States in the late '80s to continue searching for her own way in the world. Khadra is a compelling protagonist, and the supporting cast is varied and believable, but Kahf's authorial incursions—critiques of religion and society—are heavy-handed. However, Khadra's ever-evolving view of herself and her religion resonate and provide a valuable portrayal of an oft-misunderstood faith. (Oct. 10)
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" A sensitive, passionate and occasionally lyrical book."--Dr. A Yemisi Jimoh -- Dr. A Yemisi Jimoh
"A refreshingly human look at growing up Muslim in America . clean American prose that shows brilliance."--Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore -- Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore
"Mohja Kahf is a clear-eyed, nervy, and passionate writer . This is a bright, vivid, and important book."--Molly Giles -- Molly Giles
Top customer reviews
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Really depicts the struggle of living in two cultures. As an Orthodox Jew in America, I saw so many parallels between my life and the protagonist’s.
Anyone interested in understanding cultures, assimilation, religion, immigration, discrimination, racism, Islam, or people in general - read this.
Girl in the Tangerine Scarf is a novel, and, as such, is fictional. It is set mostly in Indianapolis, against "recent" historical events. The author is a Syrian Muslim immigrant, now a professor at a US university. I'm guessing that at least some of the details are based on what she, and others she knows, experienced in growing into young adulthood in the US.
I love good writing, and stories well told, but especially when I learn in the process of reading. This book is all those, plus challenging, as well as hopeful.
If you read it, and agree with me, consider sharing it with at least one other person.
Most recent customer reviews
I thought that this was a very interesting and engaging book.Read more
There are two quotes I specifically picked out that I think set the scene for this book.Read more