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Towelhead by Alicia Erian

In Towelhead, Jasira is a 13-year girl with an Irish mother and an Arab father. She's also fascinated by her burgeoning sexuality and its effect on men. When her mother's boyfriend begins to pay her too much undue attention, she's sent to live with her father in Houston. It's 1991 and Iraq has invaded Kuwait, making Jasira the target of racial and ethnic slurs. Her father is controlling and bigoted in his own views of the different races and Arab ethniciites. He strives to control every detail of her life to prevent her honor from being sullied by any man, including Jasira's African-American boyfriend. She babysits, though, for Mr. Vuoso, an Army reservist who has Playboy magazines and takes an interest in Jasira's body as well, and it's an interest she appreciates. Alicia Erian's debut novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "But Towelhead is surprising: it succeeds as an arch, coyly sexy book that's as nervy as its title. And it is screwball-sharp about the many forms of culture shock that shape its story."
Buy Towelhead by Alicia Erian


New York Times review by Janet Maslin

BookPage review by Jehanne Moharram

New York Times review by Jeff Giles

Alicia Erian
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