By Diana Abu-Jaber
In Diana Abu-Jaber's "impressive, entertaining" (Chicago Tribune) first novel, a small, poor-white group in upstate manhattan turns into domestic to the transplanted Jordanian relatives of Matussem Ramoud: his grown daughters, Jemorah and Melvina; his sister Fatima; and her husband, Zaeed. The widower Matuseem loves American jazz, kitschy garden embellishes, and, after all, his daughters. Fatima is passionate about seeing her nieces married—Jemorah is sort of thirty! Supernurse Melvina is firmly dedicated to her paintings, yet Jemorah is ambivalent approximately her identification and function. Is she Arab? Is she American? may still she marry and, if this is the case, whom? Winner of the Oregon e-book Award and finalist for the nationwide PEN/Hemingway Award, Arabian Jazz is "a pleasure to read.... you may be tempted to learn passages out loud. and also you should" (Boston Globe). USA Today praises Abu-Jaber's "gift for dialogue...her Arab-American earrings musically, and hilariously, true."
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