A Woman Is No Man

A Woman Is No Man

Book - 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]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062699763
Characteristics: 337 pages ; 24 cm


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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.

Aug 10, 2019

Endlessly, determined, dogged grim. Unflinching, relentlessly, unyieldingly depressing. The fantasy that women in America are better off than women in third world countries is challenged here. The culture of male supremacy is alive and well in the USA (the critique of the Republican Party’s war on women is evident throughout). NOT a fun read. NOT an uplifting story. NOT a hopeful story in any way. Read at your own peril.
I could do a 2500 word rant on the commodification of and subjugation of women, but read the book instead.

Jul 14, 2019

I think the message of the book is important and I applaud Etaf for speaking these truths, BUT- it was too much. Every scene was the same. It could have been half the length and the message the same.

Jul 13, 2019

The writing is good, but the story is just so sad and depressing.

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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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