Sonora by Hannah Lillith Assadi

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...even in the New York half of the novel Arizona and the theme of home reappear as Ahlam returns periodically to visit her father in the hospital. Throughout the book one can’t help admiring Assadi’s handsome prose...
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

A fevered, lyrical debut about two young women drawn into an ever-intensifying friendship set against the stark, haunted landscape of the Sonoran desert and the ecstatic frenzy of New York City.

Ahlam, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee and his Israeli wife, grows up in the arid lands of desert suburbia outside of Phoenix. In a stark landscape where coyotes prowl and mysterious lights occasionally pass through the nighttime sky, Ahlam’s imagination reigns. She battles chronic fever dreams and isolation. When she meets her tempestuous counterpart Laura, the two fall into infatuated partnership, experimenting with drugs and sex and boys, and watching helplessly as a series of mysterious deaths claim high school classmates.

The girls flee their pasts for New York City, but as their emotional bond heightens, the intensity of their lives becomes unbearable. In search of love, ecstasy, oblivion, and belonging, Ahlam and Laura’s drive to outrun the ghosts of home threatens to undo them altogether.
 

About Hannah Lillith Assadi

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Hannah Lillith Assadi received her MFA in fiction from the Columbia University School of the Arts. She was raised in Arizona by her Jewish mother and Palestinian father. She lives in Brooklyn. Sonora is her first novel.
Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Author Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
 
Published March 28, 2017 by Soho Press. 208 pages
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Sonora
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by David Cooper on Apr 01 2017

...even in the New York half of the novel Arizona and the theme of home reappear as Ahlam returns periodically to visit her father in the hospital. Throughout the book one can’t help admiring Assadi’s handsome prose...

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