Evil Eye: A Novel (Hardcover)
An NPR Best Book of the Year
“A moving meditation on motherhood, inter-generational trauma and how surface appearances often obscure a deeper truth. . . . A stunning second novel from a writer who set the bar very high with her first!”—Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics and Community Board
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Woman Is No Man returns with a striking exploration of the expectations of a Palestinian-American woman, the meaning of a fulfilling life, and the ways our unresolved pasts affect our presents.
"After Yara is placed on probation at work for fighting with a racist coworker, her Palestinian mother claims the provocation and all that’s come after were the result of a family curse. While Yara doesn’t believe in old superstitions, she finds herself unpacking her strict, often volatile childhood growing up in Brooklyn, looking for clues as to why she feels so unfulfilled in a life her mother could only dream of. Etaf Rum’s follow-up to her 2019 debut, A Woman Is No Man, is a complicated mother-daughter drama that looks at the lasting effects of intergenerational trauma and what it takes to break the cycle of abuse." —Time magazine, "The Most Anticipated Books of the Year"
About the Author
Etaf Rum was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, by Palestinian immigrants. She lives in North Carolina with her two children. Rum also runs the Instagram account @booksandbeans. A Woman Is No Man is her first novel.
"Rum’s sensitive portrayal of Yara’s inner monologue paints a clear picture of the traditional gendered expectations that are placed on many modern Palestinian American women, and the ways an unsettled past can affect the present." — Washington Post, "10 Noteworthy Books for September"
"Bold and immersive." — The National (UAE)
"A deeply resonant tale of multigenerational trauma and survival." — Booklist (starred review)
“Rum is a skilled, generous and cadenced writer. While she is not the first to unpack the ways in which first-generation children of immigrants grapple with the weight of newfound freedom and generational fear, she does so with a complexity and nuance that makes every interaction feel fresh and unexpectedly powerful. . . . Perfect for book clubs, EVIL EYE cements Etaf Rum’s position as one of the leading writers of literary fiction that transcends continents and histories.” — Book Reporter
“Compelling. . . . Rum does not simplify the choices Yara faces as a woman whose ambition conflicts with family responsibility. . . . Rum’s nuanced approach to difficult questions of individual and cultural identity is refreshing.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A moving meditation on motherhood, inter-generational trauma and how surface appearances often obscure a deeper truth. . . . A stunning second novel from a writer who set the bar very high with her first!” — Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics and Community Board
"Wise, expansive, and deeply compassionate, Etaf Rum’s Evil Eye takes a deep dive into the tensions between generations and cultures as it follows a young Palestinian-American woman on her journey into self-discovery. This fierce story explores the notion of women’s freedom and of what becomes of identity when gender roles, family, and cultural traditions are challenged and rewritten. A rich and compelling read." — Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Fencing with the King and Birds of Paradise
"With subtlety and precision, Etaf Rum interrogates the complex interior landscapes of love, passion, immigration, identity and art. Rum is a phenomenal talent who combines raw honesty with a lyrical sensibility. A wonderful read!" — Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee and The Leftover Woman
“With her characteristic insight and tenderness, Etaf Rum takes readers through Yara’s journey as she reflects on her family’s past and its lasting impact. Evil Eyeis a moving look at the complexities of identity, marriage, and redemption.” — Melissa Rivero, author of The Affairs of the Falcóns
"Both a love letter to storytelling and a careful object lesson in its power…. A startling portrait of the mechanics of complicity, of the intergenerational pathology of silence.” — New York Times Book Review on A WOMAN IS NO MAN
"Complicates and deepens the Arab American story — a tale as rich and varied as America itself.” — Washington Post on A WOMAN IS NO MAN
“A blistering exploration of three generations of Palestinian-American women, unfolding in lyrical but demanding prose.” — Entertainment Weekly on A WOMAN IS NO MAN
“Etaf Rum's acclaimed debut novel looks at Palestinian-American women's experiences within their tight-knit, patriarchal Brooklyn community. Though their neighborhood isn't far from the hip Williamsburg neighborhood of Girls, it's worlds away. . . . When writing her book, Etaf Rum drew from personal experiences. . . . Like her protagonist, she had to undergo a trek to find—and listen to—her own voice.” — Oprah.com on A WOMAN IS NO MAN
“Garnering justified comparisons to Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns... Etaf Rum’s debut novel is a must-read about women mustering up the bravery to follow their inner voice.” — Refinery 29 on A WOMAN IS NO MAN
“Riveting. . . . From the very first line, Rum brings you into the hearts and minds of these characters, and you’ll stay connected to them well beyond finishing the last page.” — Buzzfeed News on A WOMAN IS NO MAN