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Jennifer Zobair Author Appearances

For Faithfully Feminist*

Cleveland, OH
Barnes and Noble at Eaton

August 15, 2015 from 2-4 pm

Atlanta, GA
Decatur Book Festival
September 5, 2015 from 10 - 10:45 am

New York, NY
JCC Manhattan
September 9, 2015 from 7-9 pm
(Admission $10, $5 for members)

Cincinnati, OH
Xavier University
September 20, 2015

Boston, MA
The Coop Harvard Bookstore
October 3, 2015 at 7 pm

Washington DC — TBA

Chicago, IL — TBA

Los Angeles, CA — TBA

* Jennifer will attend the New York, Cincinnati, and Boston signings, but different editors and contributors will attend other signings.


Painted Hands

Shrewsbury, MA
Tuesday, July 1, 2015
Shrewsbury Public Library
Author Showcase
609 Main Street

Acton, MA
Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7 pm
Acton Memorial Library
Local Author Panel
486 Main Street

Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 7 pm
Porter Square Books
25 White Street

Boston, MA
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 6 pm
Boston Public Library
Debut Fiction Panel
700 Boylston Street

Literary New England
Monday, July 29, 2013, 8 pm
(starts around 19 minutes)

Boston, MA
Jennifer Zobair's novel challenges stereotypes
Chronicle, WCVB-TV
August 22, 2013

Fitchburg, MA
Monday, October 28, 2013, 3:30 pm
Fitchburg State University
Presidents Hall

Stow, MA
Thursday, December 12, 2013, 7 pm
Randall Library
19 Crescent Street

Sudbury, MA
Sunday, January 12, 2014, 3 pm
Goodnow Library
21 Concord Road

New York, NY
The Muslim Protagonist Conference
February 22-23, 2014


A Muslim Feminist's Reflections on Pope Francis' Visit — Maria Shriver

Don't Treat Religious Women As Second-Class Feminists — The Huffington Post

Muslim Women are the New Normal — The Huffington Post

A Muslim Feminist's Love Letter to Cambridge — The Huffington Post

The Truth About Multicultural StoriesThe Rumpus

Things I Did Not Learn From Dead White Male Authors — Lascaux Review

Muslim Feminism: On Finding Meaning in the Struggle — Femimism and Religion

Something Borrowed, Something Hot PinkLove, InshAllah

Reviews for Painted Hands

“Painted Hands is easily the best book I’ve read all year, and the best book I’ve read in a long time. Because no other author has so nailed the different directions we are pulled in life: the power of a strong faith community, the essence of family, and also the importance of ambition and friendship.

This is a novel that will give you a more complete picture of the world around you — and of yourself." Read more.

— Laura Farmer, Cedar Rapids Gazette

"While there is much information about Islam, there is little in the way of polemics. Instead the story is taut and well written, with each character going through his/her own epiphany.

This contemporary tale is reminiscent of Jumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, which focuses on the immigrant experience and assimilation. Ms. Zobair centers her story on the dilemmas of succeeding generations. She has integrated the quandaries of young career-oriented men and women and incorporated the human values of friendship, family, and love.

Anyone who has grappled with personal traditions and found themselves in conflict with religion, family—and even with themselves—will relate to the issues that surface in this substantial and provocative work of fiction." Read more.

— Diane Brandley, New York Journal of Books

"There are so many novels that feature the plight of Muslim women in war-torn countries, but what about what Muslim women face in the United States? Jennifer Zobair's debut Painted Hands tackles that very subject, introducing us to characters we could relate to and identify with. Amra has trouble balancing work, life, and the expectations that come from being a Muslim woman, while Zainab finds that she has to apologize for her status as a Pakistani-American Muslim woman every time she's put in the spotlight because of her work on a political campaign. It's thought-provoking, well-written, and entirely enjoyable."

Swapna Krishna, Must-Read Beach Novels on She Knows

"I devoured this page turner of a book which grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go until the very end. Zobair brought such a unique perspective to a world where there isn’t much written. Painted Hands is a book that will start dialogues between people. It touches all the points of fear and hate that arise from Islamic faith and terrorism in America, and what it is like to be a Muslim-American living in a culture that is so wrapped up by these fears. The beauty in Painted Hands is the delicate line Zobair walks in exploring these issues and creating compelling, lifelike characters. Her writing is flawless and I was emotionally invested." Read more.

— Jennifer Smeth, Book-alicious Mama

"The practical upshot of all this: Painted Hands is one of the best books I’ve read all of the first rules of storytelling is to make the reader/viewer care. Jennifer Zobair did this with every character she created...Painted Hands is an excellent introduction to Muslim-American culture, wrapped in a great story." Read more.


"Painted Hands is a thoughtful examination of what it means to be a modern-day Muslim woman living in the United States. Zobair does an excellent job looking at the difficulties that these women face, and she manages to tell the story in such a way that Zainab and Amra’s experience are broadly applicable...From family to career to men, no subject is off limits, and while that may make this novel seem gossipy, in truth it’s heartfelt and easy to dive into. The cultural aspects and discussion are fascinating and readers will enjoy this glimpse into a world that isn’t often portrayed in novels." Read more.

S. Krishna's Books

"You know when you read a book that just makes you happy? A book that’s hard to get off your mind when you’re not reading it and you fall into easily when you pick it up again? A book that leaves you feeling completely happy, satisfied, and in love with reading when you finish it? That was how I felt reading this book.

"I enjoyed every single second I spent with this book. The characters were complex and difficult but also likable and easy to root for. The plot was so interesting and grabbed my attention from the get-go. It moved along at the perfect pace and I never felt bored or annoyed or put off. It all just worked." Read more.

Stephany Writes

"I could not put this book down. I loved everything about it...This one book has made Jennifer Zobair an auto-buy from now on."Read more.

Reflections of a Bookaholic

Many of the political and religious issues mentioned throughout the book reminded me of some of the issues that the Jewish community faces as well – should marrying outside the religion be acceptable? How does one convert? Can women conduct their own prayer service? As well, outside of the cultural background of the characters, there are also issues addressed such as women working after having children, compromise in marriage, and parental pressure to get married. In other words, this book was highly relatable and interesting!

This is the kind of book that features characters that stay with you after you finish. I missed them when I closed the book...I definitely recommend this book and would read more by this writer." Read more.

Not in Jersey

"I couldn’t get over as how normal the characters in the book are. This isn’t meant to downplay the book at all, mind you, but just the fact that these two women can be pretty much anyone I know – children of immigrant parents who had come to this country to start a new life, creating their own path while navigating through their culture and religion. One happens to be more “practicing” than the other but In Real Life, Muslims encompass all walks of life, just as Zainab, Amra, and the other characters in the book demonstrate. Not one of us is meant to be the spokesperson for the entire Muslim population to everyone who isn’t us. The reality is that we’re all so different and that’s what the book depicts.

"Not only did I like Painted Hands, it surprised me. Jennifer Zobair, an American Muslim convert, captured so much of what it means to be a hyphenated American that I found myself invested in the lives and outcomes of the characters." Read more.

Caffeinated Muslim

"In this groundbreaking debut novel, Jennifer Zobair expertly weaves together the friendships, careers, and romantic relationships of three Muslim women, illuminating the points of intersection with nuance, empathy, and a writing voice that shines. Painted Hands is a book for people who love richly drawn characters and tight, riveting storytelling." Read more.

Sarah Hina, poet & author of Plum Blossoms in Paris

"Let's cut to the chase: I Loved This Book. Period. What? You want more? FINE.

"This author wrote a novel that should be a simple story depicting the lives of several women who struggle to make the choices that are right for them despite the cultural and religious expectations of family and friends. However, with the tense relations between many Muslim and non-Muslim Americans still so prevalent today, this really is a brave story showing the struggles that Muslim women face both from within the Muslim community and from society at large. I love that this isn't a one size fits all approach, or an attempt to paint all Muslims with a single brush." Read more.

Kat's Book Buzz

"Painted Hands can be read simply as a story about women facing these issues, or it can be read on a deeper level with an exploration of Muslim-American culture and the politics of being Muslim in America. I enjoyed getting insights into a world I’ve had little exposure to and also think Zobair does a fantastic job of illustrating how, when you strip everything else away, we are all just human beings, the same as each other, trying to find our own happy place in the world." Read more.

Wendy Russ, author of The League for the Supression of Celery.

"I found so many things to like in Painted Hands. The story is smart and topical, and the characters are richly and lovingly drawn. I loved seeing Islam through Jennifer’s eyes, and learning more about what it means to be a Muslim in America today. It all works seamlessly because Zobair’s prose is subtle and refined, and so many scenes are touched by nuance that you might very well want to read it again." Read more.

Richard Levangie, Telling Stories

More reviews...

Bookclub Classics
Ageless Pages Reviews
Bound by Words
A Book Geek
Svetlana's Reads and Views
A Bookish Affair
Doing Dewey
Drey's Library
Books in the City

Jennifer Zobair on the Web

Muslim Women Changing the Narrative (page 26) — Islamic Horizons

Art imitates life in Cedar Rapid's native's debut novel — The Gazette

Jennifer Zobair Discusses Her Novel Painted HandsWriters Digest

Jennifer Zobair's Most Embarrassing Moment in PublishingMurmurs

Author of Painted Hands — Jennifer Zobair — Books in the City

Jennifer Zobair's Page 69 Test — The Page 69 Test

Writers Read: Jennifer Zobair — Writer's Read

Jennifer Zobair: My Book, The Movie — My Book, The Movie

Tell Your Story — Lascaux Flash

Author Jennifer Zobair Answers 25 QuestionsTelling Stories

50 Words or Less-ishTed Fox is Awesome

June is Painted Hands MonthDrey's Library

Books On My NightstandShelf Pleasure

Jennifer Zobair & Shadow & Dino — Coffee and Canines

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