LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD - "This exquisite debut wrestles with gender, siblinghood, family, and what it means to be Muslim in America--all through the lens of love."--Time
"Haunting . . . a knife-sharp story of self-discovery."--People
WINNER OF THE CAROL SHIELDS PRIZE FOR FICTION - ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vox, PopSugar, Autostraddle
In this heartrending, lyrical debut work of fiction, the acclaimed author of If They Come for Us traces the intense bond of three orphaned siblings who, after their parents die, are left to raise one another. The youngest, Kausar, grapples with the incomprehensible loss of their parents as she also charts out her own understanding of gender; Aisha, the middle sister, spars with her "crybaby" younger sibling as she desperately tries to hold on to her sense of family in an impossible situation; and Noreen, the eldest, does her best in the role of sister-mother while also trying to create a life for herself, on her own terms.
As Kausar grows up, she must contend with the collision of her private and public worlds, and choose whether to remain in the life of love, sorrow, and codependency that she's known or carve out a new path for herself. When We Were Sisters tenderly examines the bonds and fractures of sisterhood, names the perils of being three Muslim American girls alone against the world, and ultimately illustrates how those who've lost everything might still make homes in one another.