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Velvet: A Novel


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A rich, powerful story of hardship and hope for the women of a Palestinian refugee camp; winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.

About the Author

Huzama Habayeb is a Palestinian writer who was born and raised in Kuwait, where she started writing and publishing short stories, poetry, and journalistic pieces as a student. When the Gulf War erupted in 1990, she fled to Jordan and established her reputation as a short-story writer. Her first novel, Root of Passion, was published in 2007 to wide critical acclaim. Velvet is her third novel. Kay Heikkinen is a translator and academic who holds a PhD from Harvard University and is currently Ibn Rushd Lecturer of Arabic at the University of Chicago. Among other books, she has translated Naguib Mahfouz's In the Time of Love and Radwa Ashour's The Woman From Tantoura.


"As sensuous, smooth, and strong as the fabric that gives the novel its title." --Humphrey Davies, translator of The Yacoubian Building

"A novel crammed with love and loss. . . .this book is so fully lived as to be magnetic." --Marcia Lynx Qualey, Words without Borders "An original voice who brings vividly to life Palestinian camps with extraordinary beauty and lyricism."--Tahia Abdel Nasser, The American University in Cairo "This novel is a place where love, dejection, transgression and embrace converge."--from the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature Award citation "Passionate....bursting with sensory detail."--The National "Perhaps the most important, Palestinian novel by the second generation of Palestine's writers."--Sabry Hafez on Before the Queen Falls Asleep in Arabic

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