'Told with vivid lyricism yet unflinching in its gaze, Abeer Hoque's memoir is the tender coming-of-age story of migration on three continents, and about the pain, rupture, and redemptive possibilities of displacement.' - Tahmima Anam, author of The Bones of Grace
'Engrossing ... Hoque's writing is an elegant melange of candor and a strange sense of calmness, which she maintains throughout ... An evocative examination of identity and what it means to be true to yourself.' - Booklist , review, 2/1/2017
'Told with vivid lyricism yet unflinching in its gaze, Abeer Hoque's memoir is the coming-of-age story of migration on three continents, and about the pain, rupture, and redemptive possibilities of displacement.'
- Tahmima Anam, author of The Bones of Grace
'I saw Abeer Y. Hoque - and bought Olive Witch - when she captivated audiences at this past year's Jaipur Literature Festival. Her work was among that which I came back to the U.S. hoping there would be a home over here for. This is a vivid, moving coming-of-age story.'
- Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company
'Raw, unblinking, urgent-in-these-times...Olive Witch is ultimately an encouraging, timely story for the masses, an inspiration to live - authentically, globally, with urgent immediacy.'
- Christian Science Monitor
In the 1970s, Nigeria is flush with oil money, building new universities, and hanging on to old colonial habits. Abeer Hoque is a Bangladeshi girl growing up in a small sunlit town, where the red clay earth, corporal punishment and running games are facts of life. At thirteen she moves with her family to suburban Pittsburgh and finds herself surrounded by clouded skies and high schoolers who speak in movie quotes and pop culture slang. Finding her place as a young woman in America proves more difficult than she can imagine. Disassociated from her parents, and laid low by academic pressure and spiralling depression, she is committed to a psychiatric ward in Philadelphia. When she moves to Bangladesh on her own, it proves to be yet another beginning for someone who is only just getting used to being an outsider - wherever she is.
Arresting and beautifully written, with poems and weather conditions framing each chapter, Olive Witch is an intimate memoir about taking the long way home.