Early Reviews for A Joy to be Hidden

On CBC Homerun, Richard King called A Joy to be Hidden “gripping from start to finish.”

In The Miramichi Reader James Fisher writes, “if you could judge how much I savoured a book from the number of pages I have bookmarked, then A Joy to Be Hidden ranks high on the all-time list,” and has put A Joy to be Hidden on his best-of-2019 longlist.

In Canadian Notes and Queries (Spring 2019) the book is compared to the work of Rachel Cusk, Jenny Offil, Elif Batuman, Ben Lerner and Katie Kitamura—good company indeed!

In the Ottawa Review of Books, Timothy Niedermann writes, “A Joy to be Hidden turns out to be touching and insightful—both down-to-earth and very hard to put down.”

In the Montreal Review of Books, Danielle Barkley writes that the novel has a “haunting power.”

Not online yet, but here’s a photo of the CJN review, which contrasts the '“ambiguity, ambivalence, struggle” of the book with current tendencies to search for “easy answers and firm lines.”


Reviews for Arabic for Beginners

According to Mark Sampson in Quill and Quire, the debut of an "exceptionally good writer." (below).

Jade Colbert in The Globe and Mail: "a fine debut novel of home, family and nation worked through a story of personal entanglement."

Shelley Pomerance in Montréal Centre-ville, June 2017: "a superb novel."

Norm Ravvin writes "Arabic for Beginners presents a fierce and finely drawn immersion in Israeli daily life" and puts AFB in a tradition of "a literature of dissent, of conscience, of intense ethnographic self-regard." (Canadian Jewish News, May 4, 2017).

Claire Holden Rothman calls Arabic for Beginners "a nuanced and penetrating exploration of life in Israel today" in Montreal Review of Books.

The Concordian covers the launch at Montreal's Drawn and Quarterly.

An excerpt in NOW.

Arabic for Beginners is called "a debut that comes highly recommended" in the Montreal Gazette and featured in Quill and Quire's 2017 Spring Preview.

Delicately observed and strikingly funny, “Arabic for Beginners” captures the everyday mystery behind adult friendship. Freedman’s subtle, graceful prose spans the large and the small, the wondrous and the quotidian, as it explores the question of how certain places—and certain people—come to feel like home.
— Abigail Deutsch, winner, Shattuck Prize for Criticism