Crescent [CD sound recording] / Diana Abu-Jaber.
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- ISBN: 1565117743
- Physical Description: 7 sound discs (8 3/4 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
- Publisher: Minneapolis, MN : HighBridge, p2003.
|General Note:||Compact discs.
|Participant or Performer Note:||Read by Nike Doukas with Marcelo Tubert.|
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|Subject:||Arab American women Fiction
Cookery, Lebanese Fiction
College teachers Fiction
Arab Americans Fiction
Women cooks Fiction
Los Angeles (Calif.) Fiction
Library Journal Review
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this follow-up to Abu-Jaber's justly praised debut, Arabian Jazz, spinsterish Sirine lives to cook until a charming Arabic literature professor shows up in her restaurant. Big foreign sales. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Sirine's now-deceased missionary parents were Iraqi and American; she's been raised since she was nine by her beloved Iraqi uncle. Her world is his house, the cafewhere she is chef, and the air of Los Angeles. She's nearly 40, and inside her pale skin and green eyes she feels the rhythms of her uncle's Arabic stories and the scent of Eastern spices. Hanif ("Han"), a professor of Arabic literature at the local university, comes to the cafefor the tastes of home, and he and Sirine fall into an affair of wild, sweet tenderness. After 20 years away, Han is driven, despite Saddam, to return to Iraq to see if anything is left of his family. Sirine is devastated and feels responsible. Each chapter begins with an installment of a fantastical family story told by Sirine's uncle; the rest of the novel is written in the present tense. Abu-Jaber's language is miraculous, whether describing the texture of Han's skin or Sirine's way with an onion. It is not possible to stop reading. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido
Publishers Weekly Review
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Abu-Jaber (Arabian Jazz) weaves the story of a love affair between a comely chef and a handsome, haunted Near Eastern Studies professor together with a fanciful tale of a mother's quest to find her wayward son in this beautifully imagined and timely novel, which explores private emotions and global politics with both grace and conviction. Green-eyed, 39-year-old Sirine cooks up Arab specialties in a bustling cafe in Los Angeles where Arab students gather for a taste of home. When her doting uncle, who raised her after the death of her relief-worker parents 30 years ago, introduces her to his colleague Hanif, the placid surface of her life is disturbed. Their affair begins quickly and ardently, as Sirine, who has heretofore equated cooking with love, discovers the pleasures of romance, and the exiled Han struggles to feel grounded in a place far from the Baghdad he loved as a boy. In Abu-Jaber's sensuous prose, the city is as lush and fragrant as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and her secondary characters, like the wry, wise cafe owner Um-Nadia and the charmingly narcissistic poet and satyr Aziz, are appealingly eccentric. But a darkly troubled photographer drawn to both Sirine and Han, news of Saddam Hussein's latest atrocities and Han's painful memories of his imprisoned brother and his disappeared sister, for whose fates he feels responsible, cloud their affair, perhaps dooming it. Abu-Jaber's poignant contemplations of exile and her celebration of Sirine's exotic, committed domesticity-almond cookies, cardamom, and black tea with mint-help make this novel feel as exquisite as the "flaming, blooming" mejnoona tree behind Nadia's Cafe. Agent, Joy Harris. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved