Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"A Word for Love"

Emily Robbins has lived and worked across the Middle East and North Africa. From 2007 to 2008, she was a Fulbright Fellow in Syria, where she studied religion and language with a women’s mosque movement and lived with the family of a leading intellectual. Robbins holds a BA from Swarthmore College and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and and in 2016 she received a second Fulbright, to study in Jordan.

Robbins applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, A Word for Love, and reported the following:
From page 69:
When I first came to this city, it was all in color. The green points of the mosques at night, the bright seeds of the pomegranates that Nisrine split and peeled like rubies for me to eat. This city seemed to me like Arabic; how many words I learned, those were all the shades of color I could see.
This paragraph at the top of page 69 certainly does feel representative. It talks about both the foreign city that the narrator Bea has come to live in, and also has her making comparisons between her life and Arabic -- something she is quite fond of doing (also, I'm quite fond of doing -- apparently, this is a way I am very much like my narrator!)

The next few paragraphs on this page return to America -- something that rarely happens in this book, which takes place mostly in an unnamed foreign country. I’m going to skip down now to the bottom of the page:
Nisrine had said, It’s good to love, it makes you feel a part of something.

I had wanted to be a part.
This sums up a lot of Bea’s feeling; how to love, how to go from feeling completely foreign, to a part of a new place?

Over the course of the novel, Bea will learn about love, and find it, but not in the way she expects.
Learn more about A Word for Love.

My Book, The Movie: A Word for Love.

--Marshal Zeringue