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Publisher's Summary

2020 Palestine Book Awards Winner
2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize Finalist

“Susan Abulhawa possesses the heart of a warrior; she looks into the darkest crevices of lives, conflicts, horrendous injustices, and dares to shine light that can illuminate hidden worlds for us.” (Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author)

In this “beautiful...urgent” novel (The New York Times), Nahr, a young Palestinian woman, fights for a better life for her family as she travels as a refugee throughout the Middle East.

As Nahr sits, locked away in solitary confinement, she spends her days reflecting on the dramatic events that landed her in prison in a country she barely knows. Born in Kuwait in the 70s to Palestinian refugees, she dreamed of falling in love with the perfect man, raising children, and possibly opening her own beauty salon. Instead, the man she thinks she loves jilts her after a brief marriage, her family teeters on the brink of poverty, she’s forced to prostitute herself, and the US invasion of Iraq makes her a refugee, as her parents had been. After trekking through another temporary home in Jordan, she lands in Palestine, where she finally makes a home, falls in love, and her destiny unfolds under Israeli occupation. Nahr’s subversive humor and moral ambiguity will resonate with fans of My Sister, The Serial Killer, and her dark, contemporary struggle places her as the perfect sister to Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties.

Written with Susan Abulhawa’s distinctive “richly detailed, beautiful, and resonant” (Publishers Weekly) prose, this powerful novel presents a searing, darkly funny, and wholly unique portrait of a Palestinian woman who refuses to be a victim.

©2020 Susan Abulhawa All rights reserved. Quotes excerpted from The Fire Next Time ©1962, 1963 by James Baldwin. Copyright renewed. Used by arrangement with the James Baldwin Estate. (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Against the Loveless World

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  • Overall
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Don’t narrate your own books!

If you are not a known performer, please do not narrate your own books. This would have been so much better if she just left if to the professionals. I don’t listen to audiobooks to be read to. I want to be immersed.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing book

I think it’s rare that I enjoy a book so much throughout, and it also has a great ending. This book was engaging and interesting, and the ending was what it needed, not cliched. I wish all of this author’s books were read by her, her voice was perfect, while some narrators can be grating or mispronounce things in Arabic.

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Captivating!

I loved this story and the narration A LOT. Unlike other listeners, I enjoyed the narration by the author. I was immersed and appreciated her voice. I cried, laughed, felt angry, and sometimes happy and others, sad. I am Palestinian, so this story hits home and sits at the heart with me.
I hope you, my fellow listener, enjoy it as much as I did. May your world be enlightened with the hope that we Palestinians have in regaining our land.

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Amazing

I fell in love with this authors writing. I loved how the author took the interviews she did with Middle Easterns and told their story so beautifully.
This historical fiction tells the story of resistance and the dangerous of trying to love and survive at the same time.
This novel follows a middle age Palestinian women, Nahr who reflects on her life while she’s kept in a cube as a policial prisoner after the US invasion in Iraq.

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Be prepared to cry

Absolutely amazing. Like nothing I’ve ever read. Sweet and gut wrenching at the same time. If you want to have all sorts of emotions brought out from inside of you read this book or listen to this audio book.

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Love and loss

I admit I cried with some passages. This novel is moving and true, a love story of man and woman refugee and home country. It also belies Israel’s contention of “a land without people for a people without land.”

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A great and informative read

Abulhawa’s words paint a vivid imagery of life in Kuwait, Palestine, and Jordan for a Palestinian refugee woman which touches the soul. I’ve lived in or visited all three places and the way she weaves in aspects of not just the Arab culture that unified the three places but also the subtle differences that characterize each place is impressive. This is a really fulfilling read, as you learn while also being fully swept into the lives of the characters: their painstaking struggles, their humor, their strength.