Towelhead by Alicia Erian
A Novel

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Synopsis

It is August 1990. Saddam Hussein has just invaded Kuwait, and Jasira's mother has bought her daughter a one-way ticket to Texas to live with her strict Lebanese father. Living in a neat model home in Charming Gates, just outside of Houston, Jasira struggles with her father's rigid lifestyle and the racism of her classmates, who call her "towelhead." For the first time, the painful truth hits her: she's an Arab. Her aching loneliness and growing frustration with her parents' conflicting rules drive her to rebel in very dangerous ways. Most disturbingly, she becomes sexually obsessed with the bigoted army reservist next door, who alternately cares for, excites, and exploits her.
 

About Alicia Erian

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Alicia Erian is the author of a short story collection, The Brutal Language of Love. Her work has appeared in Playboy, Zoetrope, Nerve, The Iowa Review, and other publications. This is her first novel.
 
Published April 10, 2006 by Simon & Schuster. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Towelhead

Kirkus Reviews

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A tedious, fairly moronic take on the pubescent hormone surge, told by a 13-year-old girl.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Towelhead: A Novel

The New York Times

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Raging hormones and sexual naïvete lead to all kinds of trouble for the adolescent heroine of Alicia Erian's first novel.

Apr 10 2005 | Read Full Review of Towelhead: A Novel

The New York Times

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In Alicia Erian's nervy, coyly sexy novel, a 13-year-old girl is left to make her own way among adults and their desires.

Mar 31 2005 | Read Full Review of Towelhead: A Novel

The New York Times

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Raging hormones and sexual naïvete lead to all kinds of trouble for the adolescent heroine of Alicia Erian's first novel.

Apr 10 2005 | Read Full Review of Towelhead: A Novel

Book Reporter

story --- such as the political climate of the time --- and.

Jan 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Towelhead: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Most critics praised the mix of blunt sexuality and humor, as well Erian’s depiction of racism of all sorts, from the classmates who call Jasira "towelhead" to Jasira’s own father, who makes bigoted distinctions between North African Arabs and African Americans.

Jan 08 2008 | Read Full Review of Towelhead: A Novel

Reader Rating for Towelhead
69%

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