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by Sahar Mustafah


Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals. 

'The Beauty of Your Face is a gift to readers.' Laila Lalami, award-winning author of The Other Americans and The Moor’s Account 

'An insightful and beautifully-drawn study of the complexity of being an American Muslim immigrant' Rajia Hassib, author of In the Language of Miracles

'Mustafah writes with a grace and precision that shows a deep understanding for the ways trauma can distort a life... a richly empathetic work about the power of faith, family, and love.' Maurice Carlos Ruffin, author of We Cast a Shadow 

'A striking and stirring debut' Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers

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ISBN (Paperback): 9781789559736
ISBN (Ebook): 9781789559729

Published: 3 August 2020
Price: £8.99 (Paperback) £4.99 (Ebook) Extent: 304 pages
Format: 198x129mm 
Markets: UK and Commonwealth (excluding CAN) and non-exclusive World English (ex-cluding US, CAN and Philippines) 


Sahar Mustafah_photo credit Rebecca Heal

Sahar is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, a richly complex inheritance which she explores in her fiction. She is a member of Radius of Arab American Writers, as well as a 2015 Voices of Our Nation fellow (VONA). She currently writes and teaches in Illinois.

Follow Sahar on Twitter @SaharMustafah

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