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Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school.
As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.
Featured in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Lithub, Ms. Magazine, The Millions, and The Lily.
Shortlisted for the Chicago Review of Books Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.
'Stunning' Marie Claire
'Striking' Rebecca Makkai
'With grace, empathy and wisdom' Ms. Magazine
'Indelible' Laila Lalami
'Insightful' Rajia Hassib
'Richly empathetic' Maurice Carlos Ruffin
'Haunting' Lit Hub
'Exquisite' Shelf Awareness
'Soared beyond my wildest expectations' Third Coast Review
'Gripping' Enchanted Prose
'One of my favorite books this year' Novel Visits
'Lyrical prose, achingly real characters, and a driving narrative' Hypertext Magazine
'Profound' The Michigan Daily
'An alarmingly timely look at the racism endemic in America' The National