A Woman Is No Man

A Woman Is No Man

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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Three generations of Palestinian-American women in contemporary Brooklyn are torn by individual desire, educational ambitions, a devastating tragedy, and the strict mores of traditional Arab culture.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Characteristics: 1 online resource (337 pages)
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062699787


From Library Staff

List - American Epic
JeffcoBooks Jun 15, 2020

History is repeating itself. Like her mother, eighteen-year-old Palestinian American Deya is given no choice regarding marriage. Raised by her grandparents and made to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman causes Deya to question e... Read More »

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Aug 03, 2020


"She felt empty; she felt full. She needed people; she needed to be alone. She couldn't get the equation right. Who was to blame? She thought it was herself. She thought it was her mother, and her mother's mother, and the mothers of all their mothers, all the way back in time." pg. 248

Tho' this story happens to be of Palestinian women in America, it really speaks to/of everyone. I believe it says that strict constructionism, whether it be of a biblical or Constitutional text, leads to repression, prejudice, and abuse. Or: Holding on too tight just wears you out. If you love something, let it grow.

May 27, 2020

I decided to take a chance on this novel when I saw it was a “beyond bestseller” and am so glad I did!! This is an incredible story that follows a Palestinian-American family across three generations. An amazing story and one that really makes you feel so many deep emotions (it’s a drama). This was hard to put down....highly recommend. 5 stars. The ending may need to be discussed at a book-club meeting...

May 15, 2020

About the repressive life of Arab women. A good book club discussion book.

Apr 03, 2020

This book explores the hardships and double standards of men and women, exploring sensitive subjects and navigates them with honesty and the added cultural weight of what MIddle Eastern cultures expect of women and their roles in their hierarchy. I thought this book as a bit of a difficult read, (trigger warning: it goes into abuse and depression), I had to put it down at times but all in all, I think it's worth reading to bring into light these issues. And highlight the plight of a lot of women who don't know how to speak up or talk about what they go through. Really beautiful written as well.

Mar 16, 2020

March 2020. Recommended by Oma.
3 generations of Palestinian women and how they survive throughout their lives.
Palestinian men and culture, very abusive towards women.

Jan 26, 2020

Ellie recommend

Dec 27, 2019

Three generations of Palestinian women growing up in America struggle to fight the violent patriarchy of their culture. The book puts a personal stamp on what one reads in the newspapers. It is well laid out, with chapter heads that tell the reader what the time period is and to which character we’ve jumped backward or forward. The ending was a bit tricky; it jumped back in time after the reader knows what has happened to the particular character. It’s a good twist because it brings hope to the ending. It is a bit repetitive with each generation facing the same extraordinary lack of power in her life. But it is only through repetitive action that life will change for these women. Read it to recognize how much of the world lives this life to varying degrees.

Nov 29, 2019


Oct 10, 2019

This was an extremely challenging novel to read! Simply because the story laid bare the disturbing and heartbreaking truths about conservative Palestinian culture and the restrictions, pressures, and violations placed on Women, even when they live in Western societies. In fact, as I've witnessed personally from other doctrinal societies, the zealotry of holding on to rigidity of culture becomes inflated and idealized when living in communities that adhere to different principles. Etaf's use of language is beautiful, poetic even and is fueled by three POV characters who reveal their experiences and lives within a culture that has zero respect for women as individuals and really even as humans. And before I get on my high horse, I acknowledge that although the outward legacy of misogyny may be better camouflaged in our society the underlying and virulent philosophy which creates these beliefs exists and is just as damaging and debilitating for the Female Soul. So put on your grown-up pants and read this, because knowledge is power and power makes us act to bring about change!

Sep 20, 2019

Beautifully written. A good message and a must read.

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Oct 10, 2019

"She had thought that the meaning of her daughter's name, hope, might grow a seed of hope in her heart, but it had not. She woke up every morning feeling very young, yet at the same time terribly old. Some days she felt as though she were still a child, other days as though she had felt far too much of the world for one life. That she had been burdened with duty ever since she was a child. That she had never really lived. She felt empty; she felt full. She needed people; she needed to be alone. She couldn't get the equation right. Who was to blame? She thought it was herself. She thought it was her mother, and her mother's mother, and the mothers of all their mothers, all the way back in time." pg. 248


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