Welcome to the Book Marks Questionnaire, where we ask authors questions about the books that have shaped them.
This week, we spoke to the author of You Exist Too Much (out this week in paperback), Zaina Arafat.
Book Marks: First book you remember loving?
Zaina Arafat: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.
BM: Favorite re-read?
ZA: Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner.
BM: A book that blew your mind?
ZA: Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder (comes out in July!).
BM: Last book you read?
ZA: Girlhood by Melissa Febos.
BM: What book from the past year would you like to give a shout-out to?
ZA: Love is an Ex-Country by by Randa Jarrar.
BM: A book that actually made you laugh out loud?
ZA: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh.
BM: What’s one book you wish you had read during your teenage years?
ZA: Orientalism by Edward Said.
BM: What’s a book with a really great sex scene?
ZA: Cleanness by Garth Greenwell.
BM: Favorite book you were assigned in high school?
ZA: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.
BM: Book(s) you’re reading right now?
ZA: Black Futures by Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Drew.
BM: Favorite children’s book?
ZA: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.
BM: Book you wish would be adapted for a film/tv show?
ZA: Luster by Raven Leilani.
Zaina Arafat is a Palestinian American writer. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications including The New York Times, Granta, The Believer, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, VICE, and NPR. She holds an MA in international affairs from Columbia University and an MFA from the University of Iowa and is a recipient of the Arab Women/Migrants from the Middle East fellowship at Jack Jones Literary Arts. She grew up between the United States and the Middle East and currently lives in Brooklyn.
Zaina Arafat’s You Exist Too Much is out this week in paperback from Catapult