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Between Two Moons

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Between Two Moons by Aisha Abdel Gawad
Hardcover $28.00
Jun 06, 2023 | ISBN 9780385548618

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“Heartfelt. Moving. Powerful. Between Two Moons is a gorgeously written and profoundly intimate debut. Aisha Abdel Gawad follows an Egyptian family in New York as they struggle to navigate the immigrant experience, powerfully depicting the struggle to remain themselves and the pressure to assimilate, the emotional trauma, uncertainty, displacement, and culture shock. An urgent and unflinching story that deeply challenges and changes you. We need voices like those of Aisha Abdel Gawad.”
Etaf Rum, author of New York Times bestseller A Woman Is No Man

Between Two Moons is a generous, beautiful portrait of both the joys and fears of Muslim life, one that doesn’t treat lived experience only as tragedy. It is a moving look at family, survival, and celebration, one that will echo for decades.”
Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America

Between Two Moons is a fearless and unflinchingly honest debut. With dangerous accuracy, Aisha Abdel Gawad depicts a particular kind of immigrant existence, that of an Egyptian family in New York struggling with myriad fault lines, both generational and experiential. The small details throughout this story—from the mechanics of prayer-time ablution to the subtleties of Egyptian-accented English—are spot-on. More than anything, Between Two Moons is a story about the place so many Arabs in this part of the world have been forced to inhabit in the post-911 age: that malicious, disorienting chasm between the hope of being seen and the fear of being watched.”
Omar El Akkad, author of What Strange Paradise and American War

“The Muslim community in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge is a world we hardly know, filled with Arab American women who have long been neglected in the white pages of American Letters. In Aisha Gawad’s stylistically superb debut these women are seen, heard, and made known. Aisha’s elegant and fearless prose introduces us to Amira and Lina, post 9/11 twin sisters who are scarred witnesses of the distrust, fear, and racism Arab Americans face every day. Yet, they soar. Amira, torn between leaving Brooklyn while staying loyal to her Egyptian heritage, to ‘not to be like them—those people, out there in the world, who didn’t know us and despised us.’ And rebellious Lina, who like Icarus, just might have soared too high towards the violence of men. See Something, Say Something? In this doubtless classic, Aisha Gawad has seen many things, and her bold and dazzling prose illuminates everything.” 
Ernesto Quiñonez, author of Bodega Dreams

“A gripping, intimate [family] portrait. . . Coming together, feeling for one another no matter what each of us have been through—this is what Abdel Gawad’s novel advocates for. There is no more powerful message.”

“A novel of duality, both delightful and foreboding. . . Gawad deftly engag[es] in a delicate balancing act. . . In painting her narrative world, Abdel Gawad knows exactly when to use precise brushstrokes to bring into crystal-clear focus the fine details of daily life within this observant family — in a supportive Muslim community within a broader hostile environment — and exactly when to lay on a thick impasto of language in order to leave certain underlying matters tantalizingly obscured. . . And importantly, [Between Two Moons] provides a needed perspective for those not particularly knowledgeable about Islamic practices and aspects of American Muslim family life. . . Gawad expertly cuts through the mystique and misinformation that too often surround American Muslims in a way that displays their humanity and their culture.”
The Markaz Review
“An incredibly rich and vibrant story of first-generation Arab American teenagers coming into their own and holding onto their heritage. . . Gawad highlights the delicate balance needed to forge new and unique paths forward while the siblings keep each part of their identity alive and thriving.”
Arab News

“Gawad’s excellent debut novel illuminates one family’s story through the holy month of fasting against the backdrop of NYPD surveillance of a Muslim neighborhood and larger fears of detainment and deportation. . . . Engaging. . . A complex portrayal of [a] whole community. . . A vibrant achievement.”

“A young Muslim woman comes of age in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, during a period of heightened anti-Arab prejudice in Gawad’s astonishing debut…A knockout…This is a winner.” 
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Gawad’s engrossing, propulsive novel evokes the heat of summer, the sharp pangs that come with fasting, the oppressive climate of fear and distrust, and the insurmountable bond between sisters. An exceptional, not-to-be-missed debut.”
Booklist (starred review)

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