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Set between the US and the Middle East, this is an electrifying coming-of-age story about love, identity and sexual desire against the backdrop of traditional values and religious views.
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.
Author: Zaina Arafat
Paperback Published 30 November 2021 263 pages
Trade paperback first published 24 November 2020
'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
"This book is about much more than being multicultural; it offers a messy, multilayered, flawed, insecure character as proof that multi-everything should be a category, because humans are too complicated for every other classification and multicultural leaves out things like sexuality and mental illness. At once complicated and engaging, this is the kind of debut novel that announces the arrival of a powerful new author who, besides writing beautifully, has a lot to say." –Gabino Iglesias, NPR
"For anyone who’s ever felt their body or identity takes up too much space, this deeply affecting story of doubt and love is a gut-punch and a solace." –Elle
"This story about love, identity, gender and family is brilliantly written and questions the effects of maternal love." ―Good Morning America
"[A] provocative and seductive debut . . . Novels like these don't exist enough." ―O, The Oprah Magazine