You Exist Too Much
A novel of self-discovery following a Palestinian-American girl as she navigates queerness, love addiction and a series of tumultuous relationships’ The Millions, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year
Told in vignettes that flash between the US and the Middle East, Zaina Arafat’s powerful debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to creative and confused adulthood.
In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. Soon, her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people which results in her seeking unconventional help to face her past traumas and current demons.
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.
You Exist Too Much is a first novel that is exquisitely written and crafted with a compelling lightness of touch * Living Magazine * A stunning debut . . . Arafat handles . . . weighty topics with real compassion * Scotsman * An elegantly written debut . . . a thought-provoking exploration of love and belonging, and how the two come together to create a sense of self * New European * Arafat's writing is fresh, witty and packs a heavy punch * The Skinny * Real, non-fetishised bisexual characters can be few and far between in literature, but You Exist Too Much isn't just worth reading for its efforts in representation. It's a stunning debut . . . It's a devastating portrayal of what it's like to feel as though you never fit in - both in terms of the narrator's sexuality and racial identity. Arafat handles these weighty topics with real compassion * Press Association * A wonderful illustration of how our most significant formative relationships can be simultaneously the most positive and negative force in our lives -- The Arts Desk Powerful . . . With You Exist Too Much, Arafat announces herself as a provocative and insightful writer * Irish Times * The first-person narrator has a distinctive voice and is a magnetic presence on the page; the scenes with her mother are electric . . . A nuanced, sparky debut * Observer * Switching between New York, Beirut, Florence, Washington DC and the West Bank, You Exist Too Much takes you on a dizzying tour of love addiction, rehab, homophobia, betrayal, obsession and the aching need for a mother's unconditional love. At different times throughout, you'll find the protagonist needy, reckless and selfish but also smart, intuitive and trapped between two cultures - because as we all know, humans are nothing if not complicated. Roxane is right: this deserves five stars * Stylist * Navigating queerness, bisexuality, love, and addiction, this captivating story takes readers on a journey to find two of the things we all long for the most: love, and a place we can call home. If you're looking for a captivating, first-person read, this really is one you don't to want to miss * Happiful * A wonderfully written queer coming-of-age story * i newapaper *
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