review You Exist Too Much Õ eBook or Kindle ePUB

free read ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB ñ Zaina Arafat

You Exist Too MuchA “provocative and seductive debut” of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural religious and sexual identities as she endeavors to lead an authentic life O The Oprah MagazineOn a hot day in Bethlehem a 12 year old Palestinian American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity She has exposed her legs in a biblical city an act they deem forbidden and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is ueer her mother’s response o. Before being sent an arc for this book i remember coming across it and being excited for the lgbt pali representation Not even halfway through and this book manages to strike every single way to disrespect sexuality and mental illness brimming with stereotypes and unrealistic representations This is extremely harmful towards bisexuals specifically making them labeled as love addicts going around falling in love with every person they meet and getting obsessed with them jumping from a person to another Adding to the fact the main character was the most annoying thing i read about since clary fairchild from tmi and the obnoxious writing like what does she gives golden retriever warmth supposed to be this book would be impossible to finish Authors please understand the next time you write about a bi character thatBisexuals are not cheatersBisexuals are not love addicts or sex addictsShitty people are cheaters Sex addiction is a condition to be handled not part of your sexual orientation

Zaina Arafat ñ 3 summary

Nly intensifies a sense of shame “You exist too much” she tells her daughterTold in vignettes that flash between the US and the Middle East―from New York to Jordan Lebanon and Palestine―Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought after DJ and aspiring writer In Brooklyn she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship But soon her longings so closely hidden during her teenage years explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other. 4 ½ stars rounded up“It is a bizarre and unsettling feeling to exist in a liminal state between two realms unable to attain full access to one or the other” Although I'd intended to read You Exist Too Much I nearly didn't after reading a really negative review for it one that was very critical of Zaina Arafat's depiction of bisexuality Luckily my mother read this first and recommended it to me While I believe that the gender and sexual orientation of a reviewer should not bias their opinion of a book and I generally don't refer to my own sexuality in this case I'll make an exception For what is worth I'm bisexual and I was not in the least offended by the novel's representation of bisexuality When an author writes about a character—and even so when they draw upon their own personal experiences to do so—they are presenting a uniue point of view and they are not making generalisations for entire groups of people The protagonist of this novel is a “love addict” not because of her bisexuality but because of her distorted relationship with her parents—in particular with her mother—and her belief that she's not worthy of love Arafat never implies that bisexual people can't be faithful nor does she suggests that her protagonist's “love addiction” is caused by her bisexuality it seems to stem instead from her fraught relationship to her narcissistic motherArafat portrayal of mental illness also struck me as incredibly realistic and deeply resonated with my own personal experiences having had an eating disorder and having lived with a parent who struggled with their mental health and substance abuse issuesAll of this to say that while everyone is entitled to their own opinion Arafat's treatment of mental and physical health conditions struck me as both informed and believable feel free to disagreeI will say that while I found this to be a deeply compelling read I’m aware that it may not appeal to readers who dislike reading about self destructive characters If you hated Madame Bovary for the selfish behaviour of its eponymous heroine well chances are you won't like this one either curiously enough Arafat's protagonist thinks rather harshly of Emma Bovary for “her childish fantasies and for cheating on Charles” “All along I knew what I was doing was wrong that I was dangerously close to a precipice But still I need to fall in order to stop” You Exist Too Much presents its readers with an intimate and in depth character study While there are many new novels featuring self loathing protagonists whose alienation interferes with their ability to form—and sustain—meaningful connections with others You Exist Too Much feels like a fresh take on this 'genre' After yet another breakup the unnamed main character of You Exist Too Much tries to break free from this vicious cycle of self sabotaging She’s unable and at times unwilling to maintain healthy relationships with others and freuently becomes drawn to unattainable people infatuation which soon morph into toxic obsessions Arafat's protagonist mistakes attention for affection and she repeatedly harms those who actually care for her in order to pursue her objet petit a what can I say Lacan comes in handy now and again When the main character’s girlfriend finds out about her latest “inappropriate emotional connection” she breaks up with her telling her to “sift through your issues and face them” so that “maybe one day you’ll learn you can’t treat people with such disregard Even yourself” Our narrator attempts to do just thatThe narrative moves between past and present from the Middle East to New York City and from Italy and Egypt Readers are given a glimpse into the protagonist’s childhood—her emotionally distant father her overbearing narcissistic mother—where we see the way these early years skew her self perception Her mother tells her she’s unlovable and that she “exists too much” The narrator is aware that her attraction towards women is a problem for her mother yet even if she knows that she would be accepted if she were to become exclusively romantically involved with men she pursues relationships with women So while our protagonist clearly seeks her mother’s approval she’s unwilling to deny her sexualityThroughout the course of the novel readers will realise that the narrator is perpetuating the same self destructive behaviour Regardless of how her relationships start they always seem to come to disastrous ends because of her unfaithfulness emotional and physical and her “love addiction” her solipsism and self loathing and her underlining unresolved issues with herself and her motherNow I know that I’m making this novel sound rather depressing And to be fair it has uite a few bleak moments The protagonist makes a lot of awful choices and she does some really terrible things She’s also pretty much aware that her actions are wrong and she does try to improve for example she goes to rehab her “love addiction” There are downs than ups as time and again we witness her repeating the same damaging behaviour becoming attached to unavailable or toxic people It certainly isn’t easy to unlearn habits especially ones that are instilled in us during our upbringing Our narrator messes up a lot she hurts people who genuinely love her—breaking their trust keeping them at arm’s length—and readers will probably want to shake her uite a few times Still I found myself growing attached to her I really liked her cutting sense of humour which also lightens the overall tone and her introspectiveness Her longing for happiness for love for acceptance are rendered with clarity Regardless of when or where she is—New York or the West Bank—the narrator is deeply aware of her own ‘otherness’ Although she grew up outside of the Middle East she remains strongly attached to her Arab roots yet she notes that “it’s the idiosyncrasies of culture that keep me an outsider and leave me with a persistent and pervasive sense of otherness of non belonging” In the U S too she’s “just as much of an outsider” and she’s made “starkly aware of her nonconformity”Arafat introduces her readers to flawed yet ultimately compelling characters Regardless of their role in the narrator’s story these characters—who are all contending with their own issues and desires— felt incredibly nuancedWhile this novel focuses a lot on the narrator failing to connect to others there are moments of genuine understanding and love between the protagonist and her acuaintancesfriendspartners The narrator's uest for love isn't a happy one and her self divide—between family obligation and desire between her homelands between the kind of person she is and the person she wants to be—don't make for easy reading material Still the directness of Arafat's narrator can at times make her into a rather charming individual You Exist Too Much is an impressive debut novel one that is poignant thoughtful and bold and will appeal to readers who enjoyed The Far Field by Madhuri VijayRead reviews on my blog   View all my reviews on Goodreads

summary You Exist Too Much

review You Exist Too Much Õ eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ A “provocative and seductive debut” of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural religious and sexual identities as she endeavors to lead an authentic life O The Oprah MagazineOn a hot day in Bethlehem a 12 year olPeople Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as “love addiction” In this strange enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed herOpening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural religious and sexual identities You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings―for love and a place to call hom. There is a gentle sweetness to this story that surprised me given the subject matter The novel doesn't demand too much of the reader The language is a little high school essayish and in places sounds so rhetorically flat that it gives the effect of being narrated by a non native speaker someone who learned the language in a classroom Maybe this is the intended effect For example here are a couple of randomly chosen short paragraphs 1 A week had passed since the restaurant incident Anya and I had been trying to act as though nothing had happened but the memory of that night was still thick between us That evening we were both at home reading on opposite ends of the couch me a novel and she leather bound law books when my phone buzzed My heart leaped when I saw who the message was from the professor2 Two months later I take a bus from New York to Washington to see my mother who's just returned from overseas after settling all of Teta's affairs Anouk and I plan to move in together soon and it's time to tell my mother about her as much as I've resisted doing soThis kind of writing will flow easy for some readers They will have no problem at all with my heart leaped or as much as I've resisted doing so These readers will inhabit the story rather than worry about how it is told But I personally prefer my literary novels to take chances with language and to say things in uniue and precise ways