Paul Zarou illuminates a rough and tumble neighborhood in Queens in the late 1960s with precision, clarity and compassion… echoes of Philip Roth.
— Steven Schlesser, author of The Soldier, the Builder & the Diplomat
Zarou’s characters are familiar faces from the old neighborhood: first crushes, overprotective fathers, the bully-gang, mother hens overseeing the block. At the center of a rich tapestry of multi-generational America is Michael Haddad, the son of Palestinian immigrants. His coming of age story, set against the turbulent 1960’s, widens to encompass the ordinary lives of people we’ve all known, those who’ve loved and taught us, those who’ve gathered us in their folds, and those who’ve made us suffer. Ultimately, Zarou reminds us of the boundless power of family and friends as we discover who we are.
—Sahar Mustafah, author of The Beauty of Your Face
Arab Boy Delivered is an involving, well-told, multi-layered tale of Palestinian immigrants deepening their way into American life. They move from safe, Palestinian Brooklyn to a Queens neighborhood with more opportunity. We see Michael Haddad mature from fifteen-year-old working in the family grocery store to manhood as an NYU freshman—toughened against neighborhood prejudice, sweetened by a passionate, highly sexual affair with a slightly older woman.
Set in the Vietnam War era, the novel also portrays a working-class neighborhood that nurtured young men like Michael but also did its best to hang onto them. Michael does not triumph. Yet in the end, manages to break free.
—Fredrick Hunter, author of Kivu: Travels in Eastern Congo 1963 – 1965
This is a sensitively-written and heartfelt book about an Arab family pursuing the American Dream in the late 1960s. It’s an important story, and I learned a great deal from their travails—both about the complexities of Arab-American identity and about the issues facing all immigrants to this country. In that sense, it’s a very timely novel about a subject that needs this kind of in-depth exploration.
—Stephen Fife, author, The 13th Boy: A Memoir of Education and Abuse