A multi-generational saga straddling numerous countries and political régimes, Leila Yusaf Chung’s first novel, Chasing Shadows, largely alternates between middle child Ajamia’s viewpoint and her father Abu Fadi’s memories, thus giving an evocative portrait of Middle Eastern life in the late nineteenth century. Abu, a middle-aged Polish-Jewish man, fled his barren marriage in Łódź for British Palestine, where he subsequently converted to Islam and married Keira, a carefree Palestinian girl of only thirteen. Months later, the Jewish state of Israel was created, and the subsequent disarray seeped into Abu Fadi and Keira’s marriage, irrevocably changing their lives.
by Leila Yusaf Chung
Vintage, $32.99 pb, 304 pp, 9780857983305
Sonia Nair is Reviews Editor at Right Now and a freelance writer and critic.
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