Illinois Authors

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Sahar Mustafah

Connection to Illinois: Mustafah lives and teaches high school students outside of Chicago.

Biography: Sahar Mustafah is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Her short story collection Code of the West won the 2016 Willow Books Prize for Fiction.

  • ''The Beauty of Your Face'',
  • -- One of the New York Times's 100 Notable Books of 2020 Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, The Beauty of Your Face is a story of outsiders coming together in surprising and uplifting ways (New York Times

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Code of the west /
ISBN: 0999223216 OCLC: 1011498206

Short story collection by Sahar Mustafah, David Friedman Award for Best Fiction.

The beauty of your face :
ISBN: 0393542041 OCLC: 1102469603

"A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face-to-face with a school shooter in this searing debut. A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. 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." --