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Tangerine Scarf

After listening to an interview with the author on NPR, I added The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf to my list of items on hold at the library. I was looking for soemthing to give me a bit of insight into the Islamic way of life since I don’t really have much exposure to it (the Pacific NW is full of Asian communities, but Islamic ones are harder to find).

Turns out that this story is a typical female coming of age story wrapped in cultural issues. It was easy to identify with the hard lessons of growing up and trying to find a sense of self as distinct from that of the family. So the plot was simple and compelling at the same time. Having struggled with those issue myself, it’s always interesting to me to see how others would interpret the same situations.

The straightforward plot allowed me to do what I’d really been looking for and pay attention to the cultural differences. Unfortunately, the story was geared toward someone with a working knowledge of the culture, so I’m sure that I missed some of the references. It felt much like a Primer; on each subsequent reading after further research and knowledge the meaning changes a little.

I’m now looking forward to a second reading, after more research, that is.

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.


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