Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Painted Hands"

Jennifer Zobair grew up in Iowa and attended Smith College and Georgetown Law School. She has practiced corporate and immigration law and as a convert to Islam, has been a strong advocate for Muslim women's rights. Zobair lives with her husband and three children outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Painted Hands, her first novel, and reported the following:
Page 69 of my novel finds Muslim bad girl Zainab Mir at a political debate. Zainab is the outspoken communications director for a post-feminist, Camille Paglia-styled Senate candidate, and she’s just taken her seat to watch her candidate in action. I’m not sure how much this page would make sense out of context, but in some ways, it is representative of the book. There is a brief reference to the religious right in America not being “nuanced,” and, as Zainab’s mind wanders to an event at a mosque later that day, she recalls the Muslim men who didn’t let her attend her mother’s burial because of her gender. This sense that Zainab is struggling to find a place to fit in—both in her personal life and with respect to her rising public profile—in spite of right-wing bigots and conservative Muslims recurs throughout the novel and, in important ways, informs the climax of the novel.

This page also describes how the very beautiful and compelling Zainab had to tell a female reporter who is attracted to her that she is straight. Gay issues don’t figure prominently in the book, but they do appear. It’s an issue I think many communities need to handle better, including the Muslim community.
Learn more about the book and author at Jennifer Zobair's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue