The Girl Who Fell to Earth eBook Å The Girl PDF \


The Girl Who Fell to Earth [Read] ➹ The Girl Who Fell to Earth ➵ Sophia Al-Maria – Thomashillier.co.uk When Sophia Al Maria's mother sends her away from rainy Washington State to stay with her husband's desert dwelling Bedouin family in atar she intends it to be a sort of teenage cultural boot camp Wha When Sophia Al Maria's Who Fell Epub Û mother sends her away from rainy Washington State to stay with her husband's desert dwelling Bedouin family in atar she intends it to be a sort of teenage cultural boot camp What her mother doesn't know is that there are some things about growing up that The Girl PDF \ are universal In atar Sophia is faced with a new world she'd only imagined as a child She sets out to find her freedom even in the most unlikely of places Both family saga and coming of age story The Girl Who Fell to Earth takes readers from the green valleys Girl Who Fell Kindle Ô of the Pacific Northwest to the dunes of the Arabian Gulf and on to the sprawling chaos of Cairo Struggling to adapt to her nomadic lifestyle Sophia is haunted by the feeling that she is perpetually in exile hovering somewhere between two families two cultures and two worlds She must make a place for herself—a complex journey that includes finding young love in the Arabian Gulf rebellion in Cairo and finally self discovery in the mountains of Sinai The Girl Who Fell to Earth heralds the arrival of an electric new talent and takes us on the most personal of uests the voyage home.

  • Paperback
  • 271 pages
  • The Girl Who Fell to Earth
  • Sophia Al-Maria
  • English
  • 11 July 2016
  • 9780061999758

10 thoughts on “The Girl Who Fell to Earth

  1. Zanna Zanna says:

    This memoir has a stranger than fiction appeal made all the delectable by Al Maria's matter of fact breezy delivery She deploys language with a spring in its step and whimsy in its heart The glossary alone made me feel I was drinking coffee and catching up with a friend I loved the spacesci fi theme which dissolved alienating boundaries between urban and traditional Beduin Cairene and rural USian lifestyles but left their uirks and contrasts intact I felt Al Maria's relish and resentment in each setting both longing for and recoiling from aspects of them allI was struck by Al Maria's observations of her Bedu grandmother's lifestyle and the contrast between relaxed communal active and autonomous nomad living and the compressed fractious rigidly controlled and stultifying indoor life of the same people transferred to city apartments I myself felt horribly trapped as she narrated her travails I felt the weight the intolerable weight of boredom and the amused horror at garish frilled and flounced ballgowns for the wedding bought for the pleasure of self adornment but also to display femme charms to potential mothers in law since potential husbands are forbidden to see them I would escape by any means necessaryYet this airless world was at least far less threatening than USian high school high bastion of rape culture I couldn't stand that either And although I believe I have the mad courage and the battle scar badges to survive against the grain of conformity in that cruel culture I hate its junk food rotted gutsIt amused me that Sophia's father upset his mother in law by slaughtering a lamb in her honour but in the very next scene she is buying meat in the supermarket with him making no connection between the unacceptable death of the cute lamb she'd loved and admired before it was killed and the less fresh pieces of flesh in her shopping basket As well as cracklingly contemporary vernacular all splice and spice that makes me love some new writing the easy flowing prose has texture sonority chiaroscuro The book is filmic flowing from one carefully realised richly visual scene to the next Al Maria painted images that sank into my memory drawing life force from her tale's veracityThe Cairene part of the story broke my heart and the final section left me stranded longing to know where Sophia would go now what she would do who would help her and love her Yet she had gone I felt back into the pathless desert where all directions are open and the gleam and glitter of the stars silver and gold adorn the future with magical light Where next is the sweetest dilemma

  2. Sue Sue says:

    For much of my reading of The Girl Who Fell to Earth I felt fairly confused about my feelings for the book perhaps reflecting the author's feelings of confusion with her life and identity as an Arab American girl and Muslim whose parents lived on different continents and lived uite separate lives SophiaSafya Al Maria is the daughter of an American mother from Pallyup and a Bedouin father from Doha and other places The couples' history is included in this memoir Sophia's story is influenced by both sides of her family and her trips to Doha during her childhoodMuch of that childhood is confusing to the reader as it must have been to Sophia Childhood pre teen and teenage issues appear magnified by larger than normal uestions of identity This is when I found myself foundering a bit along with SophiaBut then she begins to mature and have adult experiences that all children eventually do This child with no fixed identity begins to see that she can and will have her own and the writing becomes smoother the story becomes poetic I'd already left the orbits of Ma and Baba before I felt the effects of their gravity of their influence In fact neither of their worldviews made sense to me at all; they were just a couple of grand delusions in a universe of chaos and pure chance Neither Ma's pragmatic ideals of manifest destiny nor Baba's deep belief in the precision pf Allah's intention offered any comfort as I sat there uivering on the mount in the middle of my identity crisis I had been shaped by these opposing polar forces but I wasn't governed by them any and it took climbing a holy mountain I'd never planned to summit before I could understand that p 264This coming together of the book's strands raised its rating to 35 or 4 as I finished

  3. Jaylia3 Jaylia3 says:

    Part American and part Bedouin growing up in at least two culturesWhen Sophia Al Maria’s father was a boy his family still lived a traditional Bedouin lifestyle traveling around the deserts of atar and Saudi Arabia and sleeping in tents under skies dark enough to be filled with stars After being forced by boundary loving authorities to settle in a gender segregated family compound her father’s wanderlust remained which is how he ended up in Seattle unable to speak English but still managing to meet and marry an American girl giving Al Maria the dual or maybe triple or even uadruple cultural heritage that makes this memoir so mind expandingly and eye openingly interesting Al Maria spent part of her childhood in her grandmother’s small isolated house in rural Washington state where the protective paranoia of her mother made Al Maria feel trapped than when she stayed in her father’s crowded multi generational and now stationery home in atar Even though while in atar there were substantial cultural and religious restrictions on her ability to move around freely and meet with whomever she wanted being part of a larger family crowd felt liberating While she lived in atar Al Maria spent her time getting to know her substantial Bedouin family attending an international school mainly for foreigners brawling with her male cousins in the wrong side of their gender divided home because she couldn’t stand that being older meant she was no longer able to play Mortal Kombat with them well this happened just once assisting her uncle’s carefully choreographed subterfuge as he sneak courted a non Bedouin girl unacceptable to their family which helped her figure out how to spend forbidden time with her boyfriend when she fell in love and attending rowdy sexually charged all female parties that seemed to be part of the insular culture of women Al Maria also got to experience a little of her traditional Bedouin heritage when the whole family would take off to camp in the desert Several of Al Maria’s perspectives and insights on hot topics like burka wearing are not what I’ve encountered anywhere else and she experienced class divides I knew nothing about The book presents a fascinating almost disorienting set of interrelated worlds and Al Maria’s vivid energetic writing sweeps the story along allowing me the deep pleasure of being able to visualize that wide star rich desert sky but leaving me hanging a little at the end wondering what she did next I’m hoping for a follow up bookThanks to Zanna for bringing the book to my attention Her review

  4. Jalilah Jalilah says:

    Although this book drew me in from the start I was initially frustrated by the way Al Maria skipped over many years omitting many details of her life It left me with many unanswered uestions For instance I wondered if her father ever ended up studying if her parents ever actually divorced if her mother ever recovered from the shock of her father marrying a second wife or how her relationship to her sister was However at a certain point it became clear that although The Girl Who Fell To Earth is a memoir it really is a coming of age story It does not matter if she leaves out details because it is about a person born of two very different cultures finding her own individual identity This is what makes this book interesting as well as the fact that it reads like a novelThere is a continuous outer spacealien theme running throughout the book starting with Sophia's Bedouin Grandmother givinga star to Matar her father to Sophia's adolescent obsession with David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust album to the final chapter where she sees the Satellite or UFO? in the desert and falls to Earth Many parts could have been movie scenes like the magical description of her father and uncle as young boys watching TV in the desert each one thinks that the singer on TV is winking at them or the description of her parents first meeting in a bowling alley while Lou Reed's Satellite of Love is playing on the jukeboxThis book can be funny sad and infuriating There were parts where I laughed out loud but it was heartbreaking reading about her father marrying his cousin without telling her mother However when Sophia is a teen back in Washington it was her mother I felt annoyed with for being so overly strict It was interesting to read that teenage Sophia felt she had freedom with her Bedouin family in atar At times Sophia seemed very self absorbed but after all it's her story All in all this was both an enjoyable and thought provoking read

  5. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    355 When there was no one to marry a Bedouin couple in the desert they just circled a tree commanding it three times with the words You Tree Marry us and then got down to business I once ran into a person who praised the fact that when it came to publishing women of color in translation publishing houses had a tendency to cluster around those works that were a mere 100 200 pages long This was a surprise to me as I had long chalked up that particular ongoing condition of things to the general lack of attention that Anglo markets are willing to pay or willing to believe that their audiences will pay or perhaps refusing to give the audiences the opportunity to pay to texts hailing from such a demographic So when it comes to this text the fact that my biggest issue with it is the ever building sueeze wherein the strong and confident beginning is given so much space compared to the successive stages of the classical bildungsroman makes me think of than just of individual flaws For let's be honest here how much textual space is a Euro Arab woman even when she goes the extra mile of writing in English given when she isn't penning an Islamophobic diatribe an excessively exotifying tale of barely credible or some other piece that can't be as easily used for safely distant entertainment or politically useful propaganda? No offense towards Marjane Satrapi Azar Nafisi or Malala Yousafzai but the fact that they as non white women show up so much uickly in the 'middle east' GR tag than Al Maria does says a lotSo as I said the beginning of this was the best section for me It told a tale of a time that I had previously seen in Cities of Salt in terms of historical setting and the associated hyperdriven cultural shift but also in An African in Greenland on the level of an individual receiving just enough tidbits of a foreign landscape to inspire an incongruous voyage in this case one that was nearly 7500 miles long one way and several centuries in the making The booms in oil and digital are on their way to rumbling on the international stage 911 is waiting in the wings but for now there's a guy there's a gal and whatever control the white settler state of the US has on its individual citizens was mitigated long enough for a family to be built in dual cultures creeds and continents Al Maria's early years in the US for all their older tech and aged pop culture obsessions were recognizable enough for me to meander along leastwise until the usual mentality of obsessively entitled ownership and complete disregard of privacy and personal property that white parents are prone to in regards to their offspring to rear its ugly head and inspire the erstwhile student of white suburbia to live with the other half of their heritage This is around the time things started speeding up although it wasn't until the jarring transition between hoity toity Gulf Arab high schools and Egyptian universities that I felt that a lot could have been said in regards to the author's personal coming to terms with her place in a world that in most cases finds her so harmful to its monetary and military enforced dichotomies that it refuses to acknowledge her existence Much as I appreciated a view into a world that tends to be served up to my white gaze in a much ethnically othered manner topics such as rape culture resisting the forces that continually seek to bisect one's intellectual development and finally finding a place in life that allows the reconciliation of different parts of one identity deserve a lot room than barely sixty pages Also that last scrabbling attempt to reconcile everything in the space of one scene and one burst of holistic acceptance at the very conclusion? EhhhhI see that Al Maria has a recently published collection of writings that refer to this memoir as 'premature' so perhaps that's the text that I need to pick up next The work's summary also mentions 'Gulf Futurism' a term I had come across while Wiking the author in hopes of supplementing this less than amazing reading experience with some information about how a less than objective ethnographer made the jump to artist writer and filmmaker If there's one thing I delight in when it comes to academiccreative constructs it's anything that acts as firm antithesis to the whole 'woe is me' end of days white man spiel that plagues so much of what is considered 'critical' thought these days So the people on top bought the world and now they're bored with it Good thing that everyone who they thought was putting up with their myopic onanism was actually putting in the time and effort to float then swim then dive to the point that these people on top turn around and realize that the global scene is not and frankly never was all about them So as I do invest uite a bit of time in the usual 'classics' scene I read for what I consider to be uality not for what everyone tells me to be uality Keeping track of people such as Al Maria in hopes of bigger and better things is just one part of the process I didn't give a fuck any about what Edward Said said—I just wanted to look at turn of last century nude photographs of tattooed Ouled Nail tribeswomen

  6. Emma Deplores bricksnboho.co.uk Censorship Emma Deplores bricksnboho.co.uk Censorship says:

    Anyone who reads memoirs knows that a successful one reuires two distinct elements an interesting life and strong writing skills By memoir standards Sophia Al Maria’s life is promising her father is a Bedouin from atar her mother an American from rural Washington; she grows up in the US but moves to Doha as a teenager to live with her father’s family then attends college in Cairo That clash of cultures seen through the eyes of a modern teen interested in sci fi and video games provides some potentially great material Unfortunately Al Maria does little with that material Other reviewers have criticized the book as self centered which isn’t necessarily a problem for me; it is after all her memoir The problem is that the one thing that makes Al Maria’s life interesting is her having lived in such wildly different cultures; the activities that make up her life attending school experiencing pop culture discovering boys are mundane And when the interesting thing about someone’s life is the other people in it then a lack of interest and insight into those other people becomes a problem A scene toward the end is representative of Al Maria’s focus throughout the book she goes on an anthropological expedition but realizes afterwards that her tapes consist almost entirely of her talking to her subjects about herself Despite that supposed epiphany this book does the same thing On top of that too often the story simply doesn’t make sense raising uestions about events than it answers Here’s a small example “Ma checked us in to a hotel under a false name and having no money gave them our passports as collateral at the desk” That makes sense how? And here’s a larger one Al Maria’s parents meet when her father travels to the US as a foreign student gets lost as soon as he arrives encounters her mother in a bowling alley and takes off with her It sounds like the plot of a bad romantic comedy and the author offers no explanation than such a film would How does he manage to get a scholarship when he is long out of school with no achievements or connections mentioned? When a student arrives from another country speaking virtually no English wouldn’t someone meet him at the airport or at least instruct him in advance on finding the school? Does no one realize he never arrives at the school or try to check up on him? Isn’t ditching his academic plans a problem for his immigration status andor stipend? When he’s later mentioned to be regularly “visiting” his girlfriend’s mother in rural Washington where is he living and how can he afford it? There are so many unanswered uestions that it feels as if we’re only getting half the story And then the author’s writing itself can be clunky The constant pop culture references from the author's childhood are both needless and distancing for those who don't share her reference points and she never uses a common noun where a brand name will do Here are several examples all taken from a single page “The only snippet of incongruity in Joey’s look was the fact that he was wearing thick as Coke bottle glasses He rummaged through his worn out leather bottomed Jansport Tara was skinny with a shaved head like a Tank Girl Joey pulled a pack of Pall Malls out and lit one off a floppy clip of matches Joey was peeling up the edge of the ‘hum’ part of his Subhumans patch” In the end neither the author’s writing nor her insight is crisp enough to bring anything but her own angst and pop cultural interests into focus and the story trails off – not a moment too soon – with no real conclusion Though I know a bit about atar than before I was glad to be finished with this book and would not recommend it to others

  7. Sarah Sarah says:

    Towards the end of the book there's a scene where Sofia al Maria reviews the video tapes she made during a summer job filming Bedouin in the Sinai as part of an ethnographic research project and realizes to her horror that much of the tapes consist not of revealing footage of her Bedouin subjects' lives but ofher talking about herselfThe same could be said of this pleasant but ultimately disappointing book Sofia moves between fascinatingly different worlds American small town resettled Bedouin in Doha wealthy private school in Doha the American University in Cairo and mobile Sinai Bedouin but all of her different environments feel fuzzily drawn a little out of focus compared to what emerges as the book's main subjecther own teenage angst When she lives with her resettled Bedouin relatives in Doha for example she spends as much time describing her struggle to access Nintendo games as she does the lives of the other women she lived with for years When she attends a Bedouin wedding we get to experience some of the festivities with her but the climax of the scene is her own mortification at having danced awkwardly The briefly mentioned struggles of other characters in the book seem like they'd be much interesting than hers if only she bothered to delve into them

  8. Clara Clara says:

    I don’t mean to invalidate the author’s experience in any way with this review but this book just didn’t do it for me because of the way it’s executed I went into this memoir with a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity expecting a coming of age story of someone lost between two culturally different worlds As a young woman I related with many passages regarding finding one’s identity during adolescence and especially in relation to one’s own family Having her mother and father in two different countries the author finds herself a bit conflicted about feeling responsible for having to please both while exploring her own identity coming of age and sexuality I think it took me some time to finish this one mainly because I found the writing to be a bit overwrought for the content and this made my thoughts stray and the text just repetitively lost me along the way I was also expecting cultural elements and a deeper analysis of the cultural and religious differences regarding growing up in the United States and in atar and in the end I didn’t feel like I got that from the author Would still recommend it really is a uniue story

  9. Moses Fisher Moses Fisher says:

    This memoir is the story of a girl stuck between two worlds the strict Muslim environment that her father grew up in and the alien lonely American life of her mother Sophia grows as a person through trial and error trying to figure out where she belongs She finally discovers that she is one of a kind and that neither world will really fit her She accepts this and finds contentment in it This book simply put was incredible It's a coming of age story of sorts and really focuses on discovering your identity which is why I enjoyed it so much as it is so relatable The author also talks about David Bowie a lot which I enjoyed as Bowie was also a part of my experience growing up The writing was excellent and grabbed my attention from the first page This book is extremely explicit sometimes which works for it but I don't recommend it for younger audiences It also ended at a point that left me wanting of her story so my only real complaint is that I didn't want it to end This book is full of the twists and turns of Sophia's life and kept me riveted throughout the memoir The writing was funny and well done while keeping a serious tone when necessary I recommend this to anyone but especially to young people in their early teens

  10. Malda Smadi Malda Smadi says:

    I always wanted to read a book written by a young Arab author touching on existing normal Arab life Something that was profound than the stuff that came out earlier this year about life in Dubai Something that spoke to a generation of girls who lost their identities living away from their home countries in the midst of so many different nationalities cultures and religions A book that dealt with issues around Islam and conservatism in the modern way we grew up in and struggled to find the appropriate balance that fed our greedy need for liberation and put an end to our guilt in not complying with the teachings of our religion This book covers it all for me and just like Sophia fell to earth the book fell to my hands and then fell out in a day This is an early peek review into one of the great upcoming books of 2012What caught my attention skimming through the book was the author’s background and I guess I was really intrigued from that moment to read her memoir Sophia Al Maria is half Bedouin and half American and it was just so shockingly unlikely how this marriage came together I just wondered how the story of her parents meeting for the first time would have been like and if the Bedouin part was exaggerated that the father might have just been an Arab Thankfully she gives us the story in detail of how her parents met and how her life came to be and therefore this really amusing memoir What I’m actually really thankful and respectful for was that she didn’t hold off any details about her life that I’m sure she must have thought would seem too intimate or private to tell knowing that she is an Arab and her identity is known So if you’re reading this Sophia slow clap to you you have done greatThe memoir starts from the very beginning of her parents' childhoods and leads up all the way to a few years from present time all the while introducing and affirming her confused being We’re mostly defined by our parents and families’ traditions but what happens when you’re the result of two complete opposite people who fell in love? What happens when even your name becomes an issue when it’s caught in the middle of two different languages Sophia vs Safya?The Girl Who Fell To Earth is a great memoir for girls struggling with themselves in modern times It might not help find you a solution but it will definitely make you feel like you are not alone

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