The Beauty of Your Face

The Beauty of Your Face Sahar Mustafah
Original publisher W.W. Norton (US), April 2020
Publisher (UK) Legend Press / Audible (Audio), August 2020
International publishers Marcos y Marcos (Italy)


Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by Marie ClaireBustleReal Simple, and Literary Hub


A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face-to-face with a school shooter in this searing debut.

Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.


Praise for The Beauty of Your Face

‘The Beauty of Your Face is a gift to readers.’ – Laila Lalami, award-winning author of The Other Americans and The Moor’s Account 

‘An insightful and beautifully-drawn study of the complexity of being an American Muslim immigrant.’ – Rajia Hassib, author of In the Language of Miracles

‘Mustafah writes with a grace and precision that shows a deep understanding for the ways trauma can distort a life… a richly empathetic work about the power of faith, family, and love.’ – Maurice Carlos Ruffin, author of We Cast a Shadow 

‘A striking and stirring debut.’ – Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers


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