A Map of Home

Front Cover
Other Press, LLC, Sep 2, 2008 - Fiction - 304 pages
11 Reviews
Nidali, the rebellious daughter of an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, narrates the story of her childhood in Kuwait, her teenage years in Egypt (to where she and her family fled the 1990 Iraqi invasion), and her family's last flight to Texas. Nidali mixes humor with a sharp, loving portrait of an eccentric middle-class family, and this perspective keeps her buoyant through the hardships she encounters: the humiliation of going through a checkpoint on a visit to her father's home in the West Bank; the fights with her father, who wants her to become a famous professor and stay away from boys; the end of her childhood as Iraq invades Kuwait on her thirteenth birthday; and the scare she gives her family when she runs away from home.

Funny, charming, and heartbreaking, A Map of Home is the kind of book Tristram Shandy or Huck Finn would have narrated had they been born Egyptian-Palestinian and female in the 1970s.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TomMcGreevy - LibraryThing

There is real depth in this novel, though the omnipresent glibness takes its toll. It takes a while to discover the depth but the effort is well expended. And yes, identity and family are so interwoven, aren't they? Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labfs39 - LibraryThing

I have been trying to read more Middle Eastern books, and I picked up A Map of Home because it is about an American-Palestinian-Egyptian-Greek girl who grows up primarily in Kuwait. Because my goal is ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Randa Jarrar

Randa Jarrar was born in Chicago in 1978. She grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, and moved back to the U.S. at thirteen. She is a writer and translator whose honors include the Million Writers Award, the Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Award and the Geoffrey James Gosling Prize. Her fiction has appeared in Ploughshares as well as in numerous journals and anthologies. Her translations from the Arabic have appeared in Words Without Borders: The World Through the Eyes of Writers; recently, she translated Hassan Daoud’s novel, The Year of the Revolutionary New Bread-Making Machine. She currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A Map of Home is her first novel. Visit Randa online at rockslinga.blogspot.com.


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