"Mirza writes with a mercy that encompasses all things." -- RON CHARLES, Washington Post " A Place for Us is a book for our times." -- CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging
As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made.Read more...
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"Mirza writes with a mercy that encompasses all things." -- RON CHARLES, Washington Post "A Place for Us is a book for our times." -- CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging
As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister's footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family's life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla's own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children--each in their own way--tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home. A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.
- ISBN-13: 9781524763558
- ISBN-10: 1524763551
- Publisher: Sjp for Hogarth
- Publish Date: June 2018
- Page Count: 400
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.49 pounds
Before, after and during the wedding
A Place for Us has been guaranteed a certain amount of prerelease publicity as the first novel under actress, producer and designer Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth. The author, Fatima Farheen Mirza, is a 26-year-old graduate of the highly respected Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The novel concerns itself with the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family living in California. The opening scene is the wedding of eldest daughter Hadia. The bride’s prodigal brother, Amar, has returned after an absence of several years, and the reasons for this absence unfold in ensuing chapters.
Hadia and Amar, along with sister Huda, are the children of Layla and Rafiq, and the interior lives of these characters are explored in continually shifting timelines. Early on, these multiple points of view and the seeming lack of plot make the story confusing, but A Place for Us gains traction when Amar is bullied at school around 9/11. He is also involved in a forbidden romance with Amira Ali, the daughter of a well-respected local family whose eldest son died in a car accident.
Overshadowing all these events are the parameters of a deeply traditional Muslim culture—arranged marriages, the differing set of standards and expectations for men and women, the pressure for academic achievement—and the looming sense of being an “other” in American society.
Immigrant novels often center on conflict and the juxtaposition between Old World values and modern Western culture. In seeking a better life for their children, Layla and Rafiq must contend with this and the effect it has on their family. A Place for Us resonates at the crossroads of culture, character, storytelling and poignancy.