Thursday, January 11, 2007

Remember Me?

Hi, all. I've been quiet for a very long time, I know. I haven't felt like sharing some of the things that have been going on lately, and . . . a lot of the other stuff that's been happening has been nice or happy or comfortable, but patently unremarkable. So I've been lurking around and checking up on everyone, but just keeping quiet because I haven't had anything good to talk about.

Which leads me to The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf. Read it, people. It has become my new favorite book. I got it from the library, based (if I remember correctly) on Maureen Corrigan's raving about it on Fresh Air, and now I can't wait to buy it and own it and look at it every once in a while and read it again.

The book tells the story of a Syrian girl whose family is transplanted to Indiana in the 1970s. It's a great coming-of-age story on its own, but I have never come across a book that has made Islam feel so real and matter-of-fact. The main character, Khadra, lives in a very orthodox community, and all of the details--the good and the bad, the light and the dark--are there for the reader to experience with her. I truly feel like I have an increased understanding of what it's like to be a Muslim American (and why it can't be an easy thing to be).

I was surprised to find how similar it seems to me that Islam is to other orthodox religions, like Judaism and Catholicism--even the Mormon religion. So many of the traditions are the same, or stem from similar things . . . it makes it clear how the feelings can be so intense, but it also makes it even more difficult to understand how there can be so much hatred in and among them. (It was also interesting to see how similar the Muslim community was to the Hoosier community it was in but so isolated from.)

The book also gave a look at things like Israel and Palestine, the Sunnis and Shiits, and African Muslims from a viewpoint that I'd never been able to really see/experience before.

All this in a readable, fun, funny, touching novel.

I can't say it loud enough: READ THIS BOOK.

You'll thank me. I promise.


Sarah Louise said...

Blogger wouldn't let me comment, but with persistance...

Anyways, WELCOME BACK!! I'll go check to see if we own that book at my library.

Sarah Louise said...

Wow--only one library (in Allegheny county) owns this book!! But I'm now #5 on the list. I wonder which I'll get sooner, this, or the Freaks & Geeks Season One DVDs.

lazy cow said...

OK, I will! Good to hear that your back, and I hope everything is OK in your world now :-)

Caro said...

Hey, nice to see you here.

Anonymous said...

Jaysus, Mary & Joseph; I'll go get it. Are ya happy?!
not Anon - Mscellania

Jess said...

FINE. I was going to put it on hold, but I've already placed my max number of holds. So it's on The List.

Good to see you back in the blogging saddle.