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Crescent
     

Crescent

3.7 8
by ABU-JABER
 

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An Arab-American Chocolat—a sensual blend of food, love and longing.

Half-Iraqi, half-American Sirine is a cook at Nadia's Cafe, which draws the neighborhood's Arab students, expatriates, and exiles. All are hungry for "real true Arab food" and connection to their homes. One is Hanif Al Eyad, a new hire in the Near Eastern Studies

Overview


An Arab-American Chocolat—a sensual blend of food, love and longing.

Half-Iraqi, half-American Sirine is a cook at Nadia's Cafe, which draws the neighborhood's Arab students, expatriates, and exiles. All are hungry for "real true Arab food" and connection to their homes. One is Hanif Al Eyad, a new hire in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the university who fled Iraq as a young man. Sirine and Han fall in love over food: a baklava they make together, delicate lamb dishes, hummus glistening with olive oil.

Populated by colorful and memorable characters—the lovely Sirine; the handsome Han; Sirine's story-telling uncle, whose fantastic fables are woven into the novel; a poet named Aziz; Nadia and her daughter Mireille—Crescent explores the universal themes of love and loyalty to countries old and new, to those left behind, and to tradition. Some of the characters are learning to live in one country and let go of another, and some are not—a fact that sparks a surprising ending.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
“Radiant, wise and passionate...a book written by an author who never for an instant relinquished her grip on this willingly enchanted reader.”— Beth Kephart
Christian Science Monitor
“Readers stuffed on headlines but still hungering for something relevant will enjoy this rich meal.”
Orlando Sentinel
“A pleasing hybrid of Like Water for Chocolate and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.
The Baltimore Sun
Crescent is a rich, delicious concoction that has you rooting for the star-crossed lovers.”— John Muncie
Beth Kephart - Chicago Tribune
“Radiant, wise and passionate...a book written by an author who never for an instant relinquished her grip on this willingly enchanted reader.”
Beth Kephart - Book Magazine
“Gorgeously written and deeply imagined, this novel is both a fable and a plea—a book that weaves a hypnotic, lasting spell.”
Andrea Spencer - Oregonian
“[A] lovely tale...an urgent mix of Scheherazade-style storytelling and treatise on the loneliness of exile.”
Connie May Fowler
“Lush, poignant, and searing...unfolds with all the startling beauty of a hidden garden.”
Sena Jeter Naslund
“Abu-Jaber affirms the precious fragility of life, love, family, and the human community in meaningful ways.”
Naomi Shihab Nye
“Abu-Jaber is a high-spirited, magnificently graceful storyteller, a poet of deliciously fluted fiction, character, and culture.”
Andria Spencer - Oregonian
“A bewitching and timely novel about Iraq, love and the loneliness of exile....a novel at once timely and timeless.”
John Muncie - The Baltimore Sun
“Crescent is a rich, delicious concoction that has you rooting for the star-crossed lovers.”
Sigrid Nunez
“It is a story about how to cook and how to eat, and how to live in the new country. And, like all good novels, it is about how to tell a story.”
Whitney Otto
“Romantic, whimsical and wonderful in every way, being both sensuous and smart. I want to hang out all day at Nadia's Cafe.”
Oregonian
“A bewitching and timely novel about Iraq, love and the loneliness of exile....a novel at once timely and timeless.”— Andria Spencer
Booklist
“Starred Review. Abu-Jaber's language is miraculous....It is not possible to stop reading.”
The Nation
“A story that unfolds beautifully, as lightly and naturally as a roll of silk.”
Vanity Fair
“A deliciously romantic romp.”
Book Magazine
“Gorgeously written and deeply imagined, this novel is both a fable and a plea—a book that weaves a hypnotic, lasting spell.”— Beth Kephart

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565117747
Publisher:
HighBridge Company
Publication date:
04/07/2003
Edition description:
Abridged
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.66(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are Saying About This

Sigrid Nunez
It is a story about how to cook and how to eat, and how to live in the new country. And, like all good novels, it is about how to tell a story.
Sena Jeter Naslund
Abu-Jaber affirms the precious fragility of life, love, family, and the human community in meaningful ways.
Connie May Fowler
Lush, poignant, and searing...unfolds with all the startling beauty of a hidden garden.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Please read this book. Diana Abu-Jaber is a high-spirited, magnificently graceful storyteller, a poet of deliciously fluted fiction, character, and culture, and her work is needed now, now, now.
Whitney Otto
Romantic, whimsical and wonderful in every way, being both sensuous and smart. I want to hang out all day at Nadia's Cafe.

Meet the Author

DIANA ABU-JABER is the author of Origin, Crescent, The Language of Baklava, and Arabian Jazz. She has won the PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction, the Oregon Book Award, and other prizes. Her writing appears in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, Ms., Gourmet, Salon, and Vogue, and she is frequently featured on National Public Radio. She lives in Coral Gables, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.

NIKE DOUKAS has appeared in numerous plays including
Cyrano de Bergerac
, Major Barbara, Much Ado about Nothing, Everett Beekin, The Beard of Avon, Pygmalion, How the Other Half Loves, Arms and the Man and Green Icebergs. She has also performed at A Contemporary Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, The Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, Doolittle Theatre, Shakespeare Festival/LA, American Conservatory Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the California and VITA Shakespeare Festivals. Television and film credits include “Desperate Housewives,” “Almost Perfect,” “Without a Trace,” “Criminal Minds,” “Boston Legal,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” Little Girls in Pretty Boxes and Seven Girlfriends. Ms. Doukas has an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater and is a member of The Antaeus Company.

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Crescent 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this book in the sale annex and I wasn't sure about it, but desided to buy it based on the readers reviews. I am glad that I did. There are a lot of interesting characters. I love the story that Sirine's Uncle tells through out the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story, the descriptions, the characters: all remain in my mind as when one is partaking of the best. They are rich and spicy and complex. The setting of a restaurant quite aptly provides the cornerstone for this marvelous description of life among an Arab American community. The dual perceptions of life from an American and international perspective add even more depth to this delightful, thought-provoking novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story of these two lovers is gorgeous! I think they will stay with me for a long, long time to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The topic holds a lot of promise but doesn't deliver a home run. The author gives a glimpse of what it is like to be an Arab in the U.S. and in Iraq under Saddam H. The romance is predictable and has the overblown drama of a 30's- 40's movie romance. The pacing is also a unbalanced. You have to get through half of the book before you are introduced to the storyline's intrigue. The entire storyline unfolds and reaches resolution in the last 50 pages--events should have been better spaced out. Building empathy towards the issues Iraqis face without being preachy is this author's greatest achievement.