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The Beauty of Your Face: A Novel

One of the New York Times's 100 Notable Books of 2020
Longlisted for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by Marie Claire, Bustle, Real Simple, and Literary Hub

A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face-to-face with a school shooter in this searing debut.

A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter—radicalized by the online alt-right—attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals, an emotionally rich novel that encourages us to reflect on our shared humanity. If others take the time to really see us, to look into our face, they will find something indelibly familiar, something achingly beautiful gazing back.

Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Her short story collection Code of the West won the 2016 Willow Books Prize for Fiction. She lives and teaches high school students outside of Chicago.

ISBN: 9781324003380

ISBN-10: 9781324003380

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: 04/07/2020 - 12:00am

On Sale: 04/07/2020 - 12:00am

Pages: 312

Language: English

Categories

Fiction / Literary

Fiction / Coming of Age

Fiction / Family Life

Fiction / Cultural Heritage