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The Thirty Names of Night

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by The Millions and Electric Literature
Named a Best Book of Fall by USA TODAY and PopSugar

The author of the “vivid and urgent…important and timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 24th 2020 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Will Byrnes
“What did they see, Mama?” I murmured to her. “What was it that came to meet the birds that flew into the west? ”
…My mother turned her face to me over her shoulder. “What came,” she said, “was night, and all its names.”
…not all migrations end with a return home. Every memory begins to cut if you hold onto it too tight.
Reading Zeyn Joukhadar’s The Thirty Names of Night is like walking through an incredibly rich and diverse aviary. Our attention is dr
Sep 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books.

There was a LOT going on here.. too much, actually.
I found myself skimming through much of it.
It’s a story of immigrants, a transgender trying to belong, ghosts, the history of the “little Syria” area of New York, art, and birds... yes, lots of birds 🤦‍♀️
It started out good with the story of a young Syrian women who lost her mother in a fire five yrs prior.. she lives in New York with her grandmother and is taking care of her. This young woman does not feel
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars, rounded up
It’s hard to describe this book. As others have said, there’s a lot going on here. A closeted trans Syrian American boy in America discovers the journal of a Syrian American artist and discovers a link with his dead mother.
This is a lush, beautifully written book. We hear from two different narrators. The trans young man, whose chapters initially have the name crossed out, is haunted by his dead mother. His mother, who was an ornithologist, was trying to find a bird others

This story begins exactly five years after the loss of the narrator’s mother, and on this night New York City will see forty-eight sparrows fall from the sky. The narrator sits on the roof of Teta’s, his grandmother, apartment building, observing the sky as birds drop, individually, one at a time. Thinking of his mother, how everything since then has changed, how even their grieving has changed, and how it has changed them. The remnants of her life that she left behind have become so precious, h
Martie Nees Record
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Genre: LGBTQ/Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Pub. Date: November 3, 2020

There is so much going on in this beautifully written novel. You will meet artists and three generations of Syrian American women. You will learn about French-occupied Syria during the early twentieth century, as well as a long-forgotten NYC neighborhood called Little Syria. You will also read about birds and ghosts. The author mixes up the genres. There is historical fiction, literary fiction, magical realism, comin
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
3.5 avian stars

I picked this one up because I really enjoyed the author’s first book “The Map of Salt and Tears.” This book has the same lyrical quality but otherwise is difficult to describe. I did enjoy learning more about Syrian Americans.

This book is set in New York and features a trans boy who is uncomfortable in his body and identity. His mother died five years before and he still sees her ghost everywhere. There are so many birds in this book! I’m not sure if they were all real birds or i
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Thirty Names of Nights is one of those books that leaves you in tears (the good kind) and makes you keep saying to those around you (if they're the patient type) "thank G-d THIS writer was born to write THIS book NOW." It's peopled with the kind of complex, diverse individuals that show up far too rarely in contemporary fiction. The cast is multi-generational, mostly Syrian-American, living in post-9/11 New York City when immigrant hopes of being embraced as part of society-at-large have bee ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
'I have been waiting all my life to be seen.'

This is the story of three generations of Arab-Americans told through two timelines and through the experiences of a young trans man and a talented artist named Laila. Their two stories are intertwined in the novel, joined by their love for art and ornithology. The book is beautifully written with fascinating, heart-breaking characters. Joukhadar writes about the Arab-American experience but also about finding one's personal identity. 'I am a fool. I
I loved the overall themes and the storyline of Zeyn Joukhadar’s second book! The main character is a trans Syrian-American boy who takes care of his beloved aged grandmother in a New York City apartment. Five years ago, he lost his ornithologist mother in a fire in a building Now, her ghost visits him in the evenings. With her death still encompassing him and the weight of his own life’s journey as a trans boy, he spends lonely hours in his apartment, stepping out in the evenings with close fri ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you, Netgalley and Atria Books, for giving me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

If I rated books based on good intentions, five stars wouldn't be enough for "The Thirty Names of Night." Mr. Joukhadar wants to celebrate the Muslim trans/LBGT community, honor immigrants of color, mourn a lost New York demolished in the name of progress, and educate the reader about the many spectacular species of birds in both the Middle East and North America, and probably a cou
Mel (Epic Reading)
May 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I loved Map of Salt and Stars. Really excited for this one! And I was fortunate enough to get an eARC.
Casey the Reader
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, lgbtq
Thanks to Atria Books for the free advance copy of this book.

📚 Beautiful writing, particularly the descriptions of birds and the paintings of them.
📚 This is an #ownvoices book, and the portrayal of a trans boy who isn't out yet feels so real - the delicacy of the situation is tangible.
📚 The way the two storylines interweaved was masterful, and I was in tears at the end.
📚 I don't think I've ever read a story about a queer Syrian American and I'm so glad this book exists now.
📚 I just cannot find
Jan 07, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2020-release, lgbtq
Ya'll...I cannot wait for this book to come out!
It sounds incredible and just wow. If Map of Salt and Stars is anything to go by, I think the Thirty Names of Night is going to be heartbreaking with beautiful language.
Kerry Pickens
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This book is very lyrical and poetic, but the plot is sketchy and hard to follow. It is not clear that the main character is transgender or what the significance of the found book is. The street scenes of New York are interesting but the storyline is too vague and slow moving to keep my attention.
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-net-galley
Trying to summarize this novel would be futile because any attempt wouldn't capture the lyrical nature of Joukhadar's writing, or his seemingly effortless ability, as in his first novel, A Map of Salt and Stars to find connections or mirrors between past and present, but I'll give it a shot.

With The Thirty Names of Night Zeyn Joukhadar confirms his standing as a powerful Arab American writer. In a layered and luminous novel, Joukhadar gives voice to multiple generations living the Arab immig
Nov 13, 2020 added it
thank you to for providing me with an early audiobook copy of this EXTRAORDINARY story! this book tackles so many topics and it does it with so much grace, weaving our main character’s coming out process with stories of the past. it talks about transphobia, gentrification, connection, religion, racism, queer love, and birds. i can’t recommend this book enough- be fully prepared to feel all the feelings. while the audiobook is done very well and i loved the narration, i feel like i misse ...more
May 04, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
May 1, 2020: Featured in Fanticipating Reads of May 2020!

✔ features three generations of Syrian-Americans
✔ mystery around birds
✔ trans boy protagonist
✔ mother’s ghost guides her son, Nadir, to unravel the mysteries around a rare bird
✔ ‘important themes of migration, sexuality, belonging, and love.’
Lisa Konet
-1 too much happening
-1 Arabic customs/lifestyle not explained well
-1 story all over the place
+1 descriptions/imagery
+1 cover

I really wanted to love this book but it was struggle. The cover art is great and the title is catching. However, the book takes place largely in the Little Syria section of NYC with customs and culture that are not explained well are vague AF. The only saving grace as to why I suffered on hoping this would improve is the imagery. Transsexuals, ghosts, many birds; it was a
I put off starting this book for too long because I knew that once I started it I wouldn’t be able to stop, and I knew that all too soon it would be over, and I would be left craving more. I absolutely loved Zeyn Joukhadar’s first novel The Map of Salt and Stars, it still haunts me today, the parallel storylines, the epic descriptions, the words that made my heart hurt, and fly at the same time. So obviously I was overjoyed when I saw that his second novel would be released this year. And it is ...more
I don't have the words for how much I loved this book. It is a breathtaking story about queer survival and celebration and love. This is the kind of book I crave with my whole being and so rarely ever get.

Here are some of the things that made me weep when this novel was over: It's a book that allows its queer characters to soar, to love, to exist, to survive, to thrive. It is not without queer suffering by any means. And a lot of it was physically painful for me to read, especially the intimate
Never Without a Book
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read The Map of Salt and Stars and I thought it was good, but this I really enjoyed.
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-read
Book Review: The Thirty Names of Night
Author: Zeyn Joukhadar
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Review Date: February 16, 2020

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blurb:
“The author of the “vivid and urgent…important and timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious sp
L ✨
Mar 11, 2020 marked it as to-read
A Syrian trans boy who's on the quest to learn more about his family's connexion to a rare bird, art, queerness + the title = this book is now one of my most anticipated 2020 release
Janet Hutcheson
May 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I am sad that I didn’t like this book. It just was so confusing-too many themes and too many characters. I struggled through it hoping it would get better. Most people gave it excellent reviews so I feel bad being in the minority.
Devi Laskar
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
it is a terrific read! compelling and beautifully written!
"The Thirty Names of Night" is a novel that centers around the themes of grief -- of people and places lost, but also of overcoming that grief by finding new people, new places, and new identities.

In an intricate plot, Joukhadar tells the story through two points of view. The first is a nameless (named Nadir much later in the book) young man who was born a woman, but struggles to embrace this identity fully and openly with their family. The second is an artist named Laila Z who is famous for her
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 2.5, but rounding up because of language and originality. Still, not recommending per se.

The setting: "...three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts." A closeted Syrian-American trans boy, who renames himself Nadir; the sole caretaker of his grandmother. His best friend/longtime crush. His sister. A baby. More of the Syrian-American commu
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
When the publisher e-mailed me about The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar, the summary they provided indicated that there are several themes of interest to me. Prominent characters who are artists were an added inducement. So I accepted a free copy from the publisher via Net Galley and agreed to review it.

My research on Zeyn Joukhadar allowed me to establish that the story of the Syrian American trans male protagonist in The Thirty Names of Night is an Own Voices narrative. I was very m
Rachel León
I hadn't heard of this novel until I received an email asking if I'd be interested in reviewing a digital copy. I've taken a step back from reviewing this year, but when I read the description I immediately said yes. Family sagas are my thing, ditto queer writers and stories, ditto anything by a BIPOC writer.

I wouldn't call it a family saga, though. The story does offer intergenerational accounts, but at its core it's strongly rooted in the main character's becoming. (A tale that does connect w
Liz Wine
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received a netgalley ARC, all opinions are my own.

I never thought I would find a book that combines my favorite things: LGBTQ+ characters, well written historical fiction, diverse characters with stories that span the globe. I will be honest, at first I struggled to get into the book but then I became hooked and couldn’t stop reading.
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Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of the novels The Map of Salt and Stars (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2018) and The Thirty Names of Night (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 24 Nov 2020) and a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in KINK: Stories (ed. RO Kwon & Garth Greenwell), Salon, The Paris Review, Shondaland, [PANK], Mizna, and elsewhere, and has be ...more

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Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
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“To the night, I am a body without a past or a future, a pillar that bends light. The night doesn't know my name.” 1 likes
“Some said their wingtips were glossy blue-black, shimmering like the bellies of spiders; others said the white bodies and black markings were a myth, and that the only thing to interrupt their black plumage, dark as the moment after lightning, were their gilded breast feathers that gleamed like coins at last light. For all said that the birds took wing only at sunset. The setting sun was said to call them into the dark. They said the birds never stopped moving. It was agreed that the band of thirty flew west following the night, farther and farther with each day until they circled the planet without ever craning their necks to the east. Few had ever seen them, these birds that were the last of their kind, these birds that encircled the world like an unbroken ribbon.” 0 likes
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