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5 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Crescent

by

Crescent Cover

 

Staff Pick

This is a kind of pampering. One enters a woman's world steeped with sensual and lyrical concerns. Psychology is laced with luxurious metaphor. A very insightful and pleasurable read.
Recommended by Mark, Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing

Review-A-Day

"Abu-Jaber captures this despair with exquisite care, but her heart belongs to romance, not tragedy. The allusions to Othello that waft through the story eventually give way to the uncle's outlandish fairy tale. This is a tough time to consider the artistic and culinary beauty of Iraq, but as one of the cafe patrons says, 'Americans need to know about the big, dark, romantic soul of the Arab.' Readers stuffed on headlines but still hungering for something relevant will enjoy this rich meal." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An Arab-American novel as delicious as Like Water for Chocolate.

Praised by critics from The New Yorker to USA Today for her first novel, Arabian Jazz ("an oracular tale that unfurls like gossamer"), Diana Abu-Jaber weaves with spellbinding magic a multidimensional love story set in the Arab-American community of Los Angeles.

Thirty-nine-year-old Sirine, never married, lives with a devoted Iraqi-immigrant uncle and an adoring dog named King Babar. She works as a chef in a Lebanese restaurant, her passions aroused only by the preparation of food — until an unbearably handsome Arabic literature professor starts dropping by for a little home cooking. Falling in love brings Sirene's whole heart to a boil — stirring up memories of her parents and questions about her identity as an Arab American.

Written in a lush, lyrical style reminiscent of The God of Small Things, infused with the flavors and scents of Middle Eastern food, and spiced with history and fable, Crescent is a sensuous love story and a gripping tale of risk and commitment.

Review:

"A timely fiction about Iraqi intellectuals in Los Angeles blends the whimsy of Scheherazade-style storytelling with the urgency of contemporary politics....What might have been the stuff of any romance is forged into a powerful story about the loneliness of exile and the limits of love. An impressive second outing by Abu-Jaber." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"It is a story about how to cook and how to eat, and how to live in the new country. And, like all good novels, it is about how to tell a story." Sigrid Nunez, author of For Rouenna

Review:

"Romantic, whimsical and wonderful in every way, being both sensuous and smart. I want to hang out all day at Nadia's Cafe." Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt

Review:

"Please read this book. Diana Abu-Jaber is a high-spirited, magnificently graceful storyteller, a poet of deliciously fluted fiction, character, and culture, and her work is needed now, now, now." Naomi Shihab Nye, author of 19 Varieties of Gazelle

Review:

"Diana Abu-Jaber affirms the precious fragility of life, love, family, and the human community in new and meaningful ways." Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Four Spirits and Ahab's Wife

Review:

"[A]sensual feast that surrounds us with a comforting cushion of romantic and culinary delights in contemporary ethnic Los Angeles, then shocks us when the tentacles of Saddam Hussein's regime reach into this free-spirited world and drag one of the central characters back into Iraq's malevolent maw." Pamela Constable, Washington Post

Review:

"There are not quite a thousand and one stories in this combination of magical realism and totalitarian tragedy. But there is a lavishness of scope and lushness of style that makes for a heady mixture. Diana Abu-Jaber does not hold back on describing the atrocities her own family's benighted country has endured, but she also manages to show why its exiles pine for home." Jessica Mann, Daily Telegraph, UK

Review:

"A story that unfolds beautifully, as lightly and naturally as a roll of silk." The Nation

Review:

"Abu-Jaber affirms the precious fragility of life, love, family, and the human community in meaningful ways." Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife: Or, the Star-Gazer

Review:

"Gorgeously written and deeply imagined, this novel is both a fable and a plea — a book that weaves a hypnotic, lasting spell." Beth Kephart, Book Magazine

Review:

"[A] lovely tale...an urgent mix of Scheherazade-style storytelling and treatise on the loneliness of exile." Andrea Spencer, The Oregonian

Review:

"Radiant, wise, and passionate....[Abu-Jaber] never for an instant relinquished her grip on this willingly enchanted reader." Beth Kephart, Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Wise, spirited, and evocative, this work offers an ardent look at the human side of political cant." Library Journal

Review:

"Abu-Jaber's voluptuous prose features insights into the Arab-American community that are wisely, warmly depicted." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Romantic, whimsical and wonderful in every way, being both sensuous and smart. I want to hang out all day at Nadia's Cafe." Whitney Otto, author of How to Make an American Quilt

Review:

"A powerful story about the loneliness of exile and the limits of love. An impressive second outing by Abu-Jaber." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Exquisite....Readers stuffed on headlines but still hungering for something relevant will enjoy this rich meal." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Crescent is a rich, delicious concoction that has you rooting for the star-crossed lovers." John Muncie, The Baltimore Sun

Synopsis:

Praised by critics for her first novel, Arabian Jazz, Diana Abu-Jaber now weaves with spellbinding magic a multidimensional love story set in the Arab-American community of Los Angeles.

About the Author

Diana Abu-Jaber lives in Portland, Oregon, and teaches at Portland State University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393057478
Author:
Abu-Jaber, Diana
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Restaurants
Subject:
College teachers
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Los angeles
Subject:
Cookery, lebanese
Subject:
Arab Americans
Subject:
Women cooks
Subject:
Arab American women
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
Volume 2
Publication Date:
April 2003
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
349
Dimensions:
9.50x6.38x1.15 in. 1.38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Crescent Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 349 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393057478 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This is a kind of pampering. One enters a woman's world steeped with sensual and lyrical concerns. Psychology is laced with luxurious metaphor. A very insightful and pleasurable read.

"Review A Day" by , "Abu-Jaber captures this despair with exquisite care, but her heart belongs to romance, not tragedy. The allusions to Othello that waft through the story eventually give way to the uncle's outlandish fairy tale. This is a tough time to consider the artistic and culinary beauty of Iraq, but as one of the cafe patrons says, 'Americans need to know about the big, dark, romantic soul of the Arab.' Readers stuffed on headlines but still hungering for something relevant will enjoy this rich meal." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "A timely fiction about Iraqi intellectuals in Los Angeles blends the whimsy of Scheherazade-style storytelling with the urgency of contemporary politics....What might have been the stuff of any romance is forged into a powerful story about the loneliness of exile and the limits of love. An impressive second outing by Abu-Jaber."
"Review" by , "It is a story about how to cook and how to eat, and how to live in the new country. And, like all good novels, it is about how to tell a story."
"Review" by , "Romantic, whimsical and wonderful in every way, being both sensuous and smart. I want to hang out all day at Nadia's Cafe."
"Review" by , "Please read this book. Diana Abu-Jaber is a high-spirited, magnificently graceful storyteller, a poet of deliciously fluted fiction, character, and culture, and her work is needed now, now, now."
"Review" by , "Diana Abu-Jaber affirms the precious fragility of life, love, family, and the human community in new and meaningful ways."
"Review" by , "[A]sensual feast that surrounds us with a comforting cushion of romantic and culinary delights in contemporary ethnic Los Angeles, then shocks us when the tentacles of Saddam Hussein's regime reach into this free-spirited world and drag one of the central characters back into Iraq's malevolent maw."
"Review" by , "There are not quite a thousand and one stories in this combination of magical realism and totalitarian tragedy. But there is a lavishness of scope and lushness of style that makes for a heady mixture. Diana Abu-Jaber does not hold back on describing the atrocities her own family's benighted country has endured, but she also manages to show why its exiles pine for home."
"Review" by , "A story that unfolds beautifully, as lightly and naturally as a roll of silk."
"Review" by , "Abu-Jaber affirms the precious fragility of life, love, family, and the human community in meaningful ways."
"Review" by , "Gorgeously written and deeply imagined, this novel is both a fable and a plea — a book that weaves a hypnotic, lasting spell."
"Review" by , "[A] lovely tale...an urgent mix of Scheherazade-style storytelling and treatise on the loneliness of exile."
"Review" by , "Radiant, wise, and passionate....[Abu-Jaber] never for an instant relinquished her grip on this willingly enchanted reader."
"Review" by , "Wise, spirited, and evocative, this work offers an ardent look at the human side of political cant."
"Review" by , "Abu-Jaber's voluptuous prose features insights into the Arab-American community that are wisely, warmly depicted."
"Review" by , "Romantic, whimsical and wonderful in every way, being both sensuous and smart. I want to hang out all day at Nadia's Cafe."
"Review" by , "A powerful story about the loneliness of exile and the limits of love. An impressive second outing by Abu-Jaber."
"Review" by , "Exquisite....Readers stuffed on headlines but still hungering for something relevant will enjoy this rich meal."
"Review" by , "Crescent is a rich, delicious concoction that has you rooting for the star-crossed lovers."
"Synopsis" by , Praised by critics for her first novel, Arabian Jazz, Diana Abu-Jaber now weaves with spellbinding magic a multidimensional love story set in the Arab-American community of Los Angeles.
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