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Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber
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Feb 05, 09


Diana Abu-Jaber's fourth novel is quite a departure from her previous depictions of Arab-American culture: it is a gripping police procedural that doesn't sacrifice literary aspirations to the twists and turns of a cunning plot. On the contrary, critics praised Abu-Jaber's dynamic prose, lively dialogue, and refreshingly genuine characters. And while enough forensic details exist to satisfy CSI fans, critics noted that the descriptions would not trigger a gag reflex in less scientifically inclined readers. Some considered Lena's memories of the rain forest laughable, but only Entertainment Weekly deemed that particular story line completely unconvincing. Weaving themes of identity and isolation into the briskly paced plot, Abu-Jaber has written a smart, edgy, and unnerving thriller.

This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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