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Crescentby Diana Abu-Jaber
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.
Synopses & Reviews
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.
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.
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.
"[B]eautifully imagined and timely....Abu-Jaber's poignant contemplations of exile and her celebration of Sirine's exotic, committed domesticity...help make this novel feel as exquisite as the 'flaming, blooming' mejnoona tree behind Nadia's Cafe." Publishers Weekly
"Abu-Jaber's language is miraculous....It is not possible to stop reading." GraceAnne DeCandido, Booklist (Starred Review)
"A story that unfolds beautifully, as lightly and naturally as a roll of silk." The Nation
"Abu-Jaber's voluptuous prose features insights into the Arab-American community that are wisely, warmly depicted." San Francisco Chronicle
"A powerful story about the loneliness of exile and the limits of love. An impressive second outing by Abu-Jaber." Kirkus Reviews
"Exquisite....Readers stuffed on headlines but still hungering for something relevant will enjoy this rich meal." Christian Science Monitor
"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
"A pleasing hybrid of Like Water for Chocolate and Haroun and the Sea of Stories." Orlando Sentinel
"[A] lovely tale...an urgent mix of Scheherazade-style storytelling and treatise on the loneliness of exile." Andrea Spencer, The Oregonian
"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
"Abu-Jaber is a high-spirited, magnificently graceful storyteller, a poet of deliciously fluted fiction, character, and culture." Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Words Under the Words
"Crescent is a rich, delicious concoction that has you rooting for the star-crossed lovers." John Muncie, The Baltimore Sun
"Radiant, wise, and passionate....[Abu-Jaber] never for an instant relinquished her grip on this willingly enchanted reader." Beth Kephart, Chicago Tribune
"Wise, spirited, and evocative, this work offers an ardent look at the human side of political cant." Library Journal
"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
Sirine is thirty-nine, never married, and lives in the Arab-American community of Los Angeles known as Irangeles. She has a passion for cooking and works contentedly in a Lebanese restaurant, while her storytelling uncle and her saucy boss, Umm Nadia, believe she should be trying harder to find a husband. One day a handsome professor of Arabic literature, an Iraqi exile, comes to the restaurant, and Sirine finds herself falling in love and, in the process, starts questioning her identity as an Arab-American.
When a handsome professor of Arabic literature and Iraqi exile enters her life, single, 39-year-old Sirine finds herself falling in love and, in the process, starts questioning her identity as an Arab-American.
About the Author
Diana Abu-Jaber lives in Florida and teaches at the University of Miami. She is also the author of Arabian Jazz.
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