INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Named One of the Best Books of 2018 by: Washington Post • NPR • Refinery29 • Real Simple • Buzzfeed
“Mirza writes with a mercy that encompasses all things.” — RON CHARLES, Washington Post
“A Place for Us is a book for our times.” — CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR
The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging
As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?
A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home.
A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.
Praise for A Place for Us:
“Absolutely gorgeous…Mirza writes about family life with the wisdom, insight and patience you would expect from a mature novelist adding a final masterpiece to her canon, but this is, fortunately, just the start of an extraordinary career…. Has a household ever been cradled in such tender attention as this novel provides?… As Marilynne Robinson has done with Protestants and Alice McDermott has done with Catholics, Mirza finds in the intensity of a faithful Muslim family a universal language of love and anguish that speaks to us all… In prose of quiet beauty and measured restraint, Mirza traces those twined strands of yearning and sorrow that faith involves. She writes with a mercy that encompasses all things…. Each time I stole away into this novel, it felt like a privilege to dwell among these people, to fall back under the gentle light of Mirza’s words.”
— Ron Charles, Washington Post
“Ambitious… a family epic that is textured and keenly felt… Mirza draws Amar’s lifelong struggle with the concept of unconditional devotion so poignantly that readers will find it exceedingly relatable. But so too is the mysterious whisper in his ear urging him always to return, no matter how far he strays, back home.”
— New York Times Book Review
“The thinking person’s summer read, a rich and layered tale about family and assimilation.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“[An] impassioned debut novel… Mirza is attuned to the subtle ways in which siblings and parents compete for one another’s affection. A ruminative final section, in which the father addresses his wayward son, is a moving coda.”
— The New Yorker
“The book dives into the lives of a Muslim-American family, opening on the eve of the eldest daughter’s marriage, and examines the intricacies of a family straddling two very different cultures.”
— Vanity Fair
“A Place for Us is a stunning novel about love, compassion, cruelty and forgiveness — the very things that make families what they are…[Mirza’s] writing is gorgeous, unadorned but beautiful… a miracle of a book. A Place for Us is a major accomplishment, a work of real beauty and fierce originality.”
— Michael Schaub, NPR.org
“In polished prose that zeroes in on domestic detail and, at its loveliest, recalls Jhumpa Lahiri, Mirza delivers a portrait of a family straining to hold its center amid rebellions both quiet and explosive.”
“A rich portrait of a fractured Muslim family…With unwavering compassion, this beautiful heartbreaker unravels the mystery of who may be to blame for Amar’s estrangement.”