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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. She explores her Palestinian heritage in her writing. She earned her MFA in Fiction from Columbia College where she was a Follett Graduate Scholar.

  • The Beauty of Your Face The New York Times Book Review Notable Books of 2020 and a Finalist for the 2021 Palestine Book Award. It was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Award and chosen for Los Angeles Times - United We Read
  • Code of the West 2016 Willow Books Prize for Fiction.

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

The Beauty of Your Face tells a uniquely American story in powerful, evocative prose. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of 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, and into a profound and “moving” (Bustle) exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.