Alia Yunis's Reviews > A Map of Home

A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar
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's review
Feb 12, 2009

it was amazing
Read in March, 2009

So many childhoods in the Middle East have been interrupted by war, and yet children--and teenagers even more so--go on growing, enveloped in their own angst, particularly within the middle and upper classes. This novel captures a girl that embodies so many of the conflicts of her time-Palestine, Iraq, Eygpt, Kuwait--and yet battles the conflicts of her family, her hormones, and her dreams with endless energy and conviction. In this novel, multiculturalism born of necessity leads to the the creation of things such as the "zaatar burgers." The odd but sadly recognizable scene of a woman screaming "First you take my land, now my Guccis" at an Israeli soldier who has just searched her at the border and other such observations by the narrator are what remind us that humor is what sustains us through crisis, both external and internal. And in the Middle East, no matter how positive or self-obsessed one is, one always wonders, as does the teenage narrator, how many more wars there will be in her lifetime, nevermind that of her children.
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