A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

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book cover A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

A Woman is No Man
by Etaf Rum

Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
First Published: 2019

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Publisher’s Description

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.


Quotes from A Woman is No Man

“It’s the loneliest people who love books the most.”

“A real choice doesn’t have conditions. A real choice is free.”

“Soon you’ll learn that there’s no room for love in a woman’s life. There’s only one thing you’ll need, and that’s patience.”

“Learn this now, dear. If you live your life waiting for a man’s love, you’ll be disappointed.”


About Etaf Rum

Etaf Rum is a college professor and author of the novel A Woman is No Man. She was born and raised by Palestinian immigrants in Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives in North Carolina with her children. Visit the author’s website →


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