LBB Book Club: Well-Read Black Girl discusses You Exist Too Much

Monday, September 26, 2022 - 7:00pm

THIS WILL BE A HYBRID MEETING. Email shane.m@left-bank.com for info to join.

Join Well-Read Black Girl Book Club! for a reading group discussion of You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat.

Get You Exist Too Much for 20% off by phone and online during the months of August and September!

 

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 endeavors to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine).

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, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. 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—from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine—Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought–after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as “love addiction.” In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her.

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.

Event address: 
399 N. Euclid Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108
Books: 
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You Exist Too Much: A Novel By Zaina Arafat Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646220595
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Catapult - June 8th, 2021

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