Once in a Promised Land
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Description: A dramatic tale of the complex and cruel realities of life for two Arab Americans in the wake of 9/11, by an award-winning novelist A Book Sense Notable Title Once in a Promised Land is the story of a couple, Jassim and Salwa, who left the deserts of their native Jordan for those of Arizona, each chasing their own dreams of opportunity and freedom. Although the two live far from Ground Zero, they cannot escape the nationwide fallout from 9/11. Jassim, a hydrologist, believes passionately in his mission to keep the water tables from dropping and make water accessible to all people, but his work is threatened by an FBI witch hunt for domestic terrorists. Salwa, a Palestinian now twice displaced, grappling to put down roots in an inhospitable climate, becomes pregnant against her husband's wishes and then loses the baby. When Jassim kills a teenage boy in a terrible accident and Salwa becomes hopelessly entangled with a shady young American, their tenuous lives in exile and their fragile marriage begin to unravel. This intimate account of two parallel lives is an achingly honest look at what it means to straddle cultures, to be viewed with suspicion, and to struggle to find save haven. "Sometimes you run out of adjectives. Or the adjectives lose their luster. What if I say that Once in a Promised Land is brilliant, insightful, heartbreaking, enchanting--what does that even mean anymore? But this novel is brilliant because the prose glows, sends off heat. Insightful because it allows us to see into a place that most of us don't know about. Heartbreaking because you can feel the situation that these characters are trapped in. And enchanting because it's told in the form of afairy tale that lets us believe that, somehow, these poor souls may be able to rescue themselves." --Carolyn See, Washington Post "In this timely and utterly original novel, Laila Halaby has crafted a deeply resonant tale of our tangled and common humanity." --Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog
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List price: $24.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Beacon Press
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall