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Berz Endowed Lecture Featuring Eman Quotah

Berz Endowed Lecture featuring Eman Quotah


The David and Sherry Berz Endowed Lecture will feature Eman Quotah, author of the novel “Bride of the Sea”

Praise for Bride of the Sea:

“An important addition to American fiction.” -The Washington Post

“A sensitive portrayal of becoming American—both the shedding of
one’s culture for the sake of fitting in and the difficult task of finding one’s place, especially as an Arab American. . . . A clear-eyed debut from a writer who doesn’t shy away from the messiness of family life.” -The Star Tribune

Description of Bride of the Sea:

During a snowy Cleveland February, newlyweds Muneer and Saeedah are starting their lives in America and expecting their first child. But Muneer harbors a secret: the word divorce has begun whispering itself in his ear. Soon, their marriage will end, and Muneer will return to Saudi Arabia, while Saeedah remains in Cleveland with their daughter, Hanadi. The more time she shares with her daughter, the more Saeedah wants to keep her close, and before long, her fear of losing Hanadi leads Saeedah to think that she and her daughter have no choice but to hide. Saeedah disappears with the little girl to build a new, secret life, while Muneer is left desperately searching for his daughter in a different country for years.

The repercussions of this abduction ripple outward, not only changing the lives of Hanadi and her parents, but also their interwoven family and friends—those who must choose sides and hide their own deeply guarded secrets. And when Hanadi comes of age, she finds herself at the center of this conflict, torn between the world she grew up in and a family across the ocean. How can she exist between parents, between countries? This question lies at the heart of Eman Quotah’s spellbinding debut about colliding cultures, immigration, religion, and family; an intimate portrait of loss and healing, and, ultimately, a testament to the ways we find ourselves inside love, distance, and heartbreak.


This event is supported by the following GW departments and programs:

Arabic Language, Classical & Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Creative Writing, English,
the Global Affairs and Religion Network (GARNET), and the Institute for Middle Eastern Studies


  • Eman Quotah is the author of the novel Bride of the Sea. She grew up in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, and Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Toast, The Establishment, Book Riot, Literary Hub, Electric Literature and other publications. She lives with her family near Washington, D.C.