La Cañada celebrated Zoe Ferraris’ novel “Finding Nouf,” a OneCityOneBook pick, in two events this past weekend. A children’s event called “The Ships of the Desert” was hosted for children on Saturday at the city library, and a book signing and author interview drew about 130 people to the La Cañada Unified School District Office on Sunday afternoon.
Ferraris’ novel is a mystery about a young woman’s disappearance and is set in present-day Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. While the book is a mystery, much of the story focuses on the tensions between a devout, traditional Muslim male and a bold Muslim female ally who has launched her own investigation into the girl’s disappearance.
Mark Salzman, an award-winning novelist and non-fiction writer, interviewed Ferraris during the Sunday event, asking questions on the gender issues in her novel and especially about her own experiences living in Jeddah.
“Finding Nouf” and Ferraris’ other book “City of Veils,” were inspired by her experiences living in a conservative Muslim community in Jeddah. The author married a Saudi Arabian and moved to Jeddah to live with his family just after the first Gulf War.