Legend Press has bagged Sahar Mustafah’s “stunning” debut novel charting the background to a shooting at an Islamic school in Chicago.
Lauren Parsons, commissioning editor, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada, and non-exclusive world English rights for The Beauty of Your Face, for publication on 3rd August 2020. The deal was done with Charlotte Seymour at Andrew Nurnberg Associates, on behalf of the Robin Straus Literary Agency in New York. US rights were acquired at auction by Jill Bialosky at Norton, for publication in 2020.
The synopsis explains: “The Beauty of Your Face tells the story of Afaf Rahman, the principal at Nurrideen Islamic School for girls in Chicago. When a gunman brutally attacks the school, the reader is swept back in time, alternating between the lives of Afaf and the gunman. Afaf is the daughter of a Palestinian American family, whose lives were foreverchanged by the disappearance of her older sister. Navigating a country where white Americans are quick to judge and quick to hate, the novel explores Afaf’s journey to find love and acceptance in her country, her family, and ultimately within her own heart.”
Mustafah, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, has been awarded the Guild Literary Complex Prize for her short stories alongside three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her collection Code of the West was published in 2017 by Willow Books. She currently writes and teaches in Illinois and is co-founder of Bird’s Thumb, an online literary magazine devoted to new and emerging voices.
Parsons said: “We are thrilled to acquire this stunning debut novel. Timely and beautifully written, this novel will be one to look out for in 2020.”