“Velvet has an aroma unlike any other. ... It’s the aroma of warmth, of dormant heat, of depth and expanse; it’s the aroma of well-deserved luxury, of pride and restraint;”
Intensely poignant, Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature award winner Huzama Habayeb pens the life story of Hawwa, a fiercely strong seamstress living in a Palestinian refugee camp from childhood to death. The novel winds throughout Hawwa’s life as she takes on the burdens of her parents, siblings, and later her husband, children and grandchildren, attempting to insulate her loved ones from the violence in and around the camp. Depicting the highs and lows of modern womanhood, as well as the special strength that comes from an arduous life, Habayeb weaves a heart-wrenching story that springs from the sorrow of a young girl. Hawwa searches for meaning in the love and grief that surround her. Through the years, we witness Hawwa’s quiet strength persevere as she tries to stitch her family’s life back together. Equal parts touching and tragic, this novel gives an intimate view of love and loss inside of a tumultuous world.