Zaina Arafat - 'You Exist Too Much' (virtual event)
This event will be held virtually! Click here to register.
On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother's response only intensifies a sense of shame: "You exist too much," she tells her daughter.
Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East, this debut novel traces the protagonist's progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings--for love, and a place to call home.
Co-sponsored by the LGBT Center of Raleigh.
Zaina Arafat is a queer Palestinian-American writer. Her debut novel, You Exist Too Much, is an Indie Next Pick for June, and has been praised as a queer novel to look out for in 2020 by O Oprah Magazine, them, Harper's Bazaar, Electric Literature, Bitch Media, and Xtra, among others. She has also been selected as a Champion of Pride by The Advocate. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications including Granta, The New York Times, The Believer, Virginia Quarterly Review, VICE, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic and NPR. She holds an MFA from Iowa and was awarded the 2018 Arab Women/Migrants from the Middle East fellowship from Jack Jones Literary Arts. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
A "provocative and seductive debut" of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities as she tries to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine)