A Woman is no Man by Etaf Rum

Self-acceptance won’t solve my problems, and courage won’t get me anywhere. These things sound great in some inspirational speech, or in a book, but the real world is much more complicated

A Woman is no Man, Etaf Rum

About the book

This debut novel by an Arab-American voice, takes us inside the lives of conservative Arab – women living in America.

In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between the lives of Deya and Isra, she begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her community.


My Review

Man!!! What an outstanding book!!!

I am a fan of Arab stories from the time I read Arabian Nights in school. Even after that all the afghanistan-Kabul literature has attracted my attention. Moreover, I love Khaled Hosseini’s books too. And, now Etaf Rum has taken the story-telling to a new level .

I was taken aback to know A Woman is no Man is a semi-biographical book.

There was a nice author interview at the end.

So, the story revolves around Isra, Fareeda, and Deya. I must say, its more than the only stories of regular woman and their feelings.

We all may live in an Independent country, but those from Arab-American are so confused with their culture, even though they know what they want and they can’t have it.

Author describes the havoc lives of woman migrating as refugees to America. Then, finding it difficult to follow their own culture because now they live in America, and so they can’t be Arab anymore from the heart. The book focuses on the different perspective for both the genders in the family.

Listen to me, daughter. No matter how far away from Palestine you go, a woman will always be a woman. Here or there. Location will not change her naseeb, her destiny

A Woman is no Man

Isra is married to Adam at an early age and moves from Palestine to America. The wonderful dreams of living in a developed country is smashed so hard by Adam’s family when it’s Isra’s turn to think about her three daughter. The pressure of family to bear a son and all the domestic Violence by the hand’s of her druken husband.

The quest of Deya to find how her mother Isra is murdered leaves no stone unturned to know the life of a woman is the same at different places.

Revolutions don’t come from a place of happiness. If anything, I think it’s sadness, or discontent at least, that’s at the root of everything beautiful.

A Woman is no Man

The book is a fantastic non-fiction and too difficult to keep it down. There’s nothing to think about to read it. It will take you on a journey of unthinkable lives that we don’t know ever existed.

I really liked Isra, She was a wonderful woman to take all the risks for her daughters. Even at an early age when she should have been in college, she knew her responsibilities so well. This is what women are, they know to live with what destiny throws at them.

Even the Qur’an said that girls were a blessing, a gift

A Woman is no Man

I read this book on Scribd. Find your copy too.

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