Yara

By (author): Tamara Faith Berger

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From the author of Maidenhead, a reverse cautionary tale about a young woman exploring the boundaries of sex and belonging in the early 2000s

Distraught that her teenage daughter is in love with a woman a decade older, Yara’s mother sends her away from their home in Brazil to Israel, on a Birthright trip for Jewish youth. Freed from her increasingly controlling and jealous girlfriend, Yara is determined to forge her own path and follow her desires. 

But Birthright takes a debaucherous turn, and Yara flees Israel for Toronto and then California. As she wanders, Yara is forced to reframe her relationship and her ideas around consent. Set in the sex-tape-panicked early 2000s, Yara is a reverse cautionary tale about what the body can teach us.

“Tamara Faith Berger is one of our best writers of the body, capturing in sharp, red-hot prose its raw animal urges, its often confused and contradictory desires, and the way our search for pleasure can be both liberatory and self-annihilating. Like Israel, bodies are contested territories, and in Berger’s revelatory new novel, Yara seeks to wrest control and meaning from the forces that seek to instrumentalize hers: nationalism, capitalism, pornography, and lovers.” – Jordan Tannahill, author of The Listeners

Yara is a complicated novel about the confusions of consent and kinship, the way love makes victims of us all, told with cool, epigrammatic verve. As raw, destabilizing and searching as its titular protagonist, it’s Berger’s best book yet.” – Jason McBride, author of Eat Your Mind

“Canada’s finest and boldest writer. Tamara Faith Berger is my favourite ball buster.” – Anakana Schofield, author of Bina: A Novel in Warnings

AUTHOR

Tamara Faith Berger

Tamara Faith Berger writes fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. She is the author of Lie With Me and The Way of the Whore (which were collected by Coach House Books as Little Cat), Maidenhead, and KuntaliniMaidenhead won the 2012 Believer Book Award. Her fifth book, Queen Solomon, was published by Coach House Books in 2018 and was nominated for a Trillium Book Award. She has a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She lives and works in Toronto.


Reviews

“From peace (shalom) to scapegoat to porn, Yara is a coming-of-age story with metafictional moments.” – Michael Greenstein, Miramichi Reader

“This provocative coming-of-age story from Berger raises questions about sexuality, power, and the intersection of the personal and the political.” – Publishers Weekly

“With each successive book, the author has discovered greater control over her material; Yara represents her most fully realized vision yet. Intricate and morally uncompromising, the novel operates at the nexus of identity, sexuality, politics, and family.” – Steven W. Beattie, That Shakespearean Rag

“Berger set out to situate a young woman’s sexual struggles within a broader web of connections, but without ever losing the immersive feeling of a page-turner – politics are present, but the book is also not an allegory.” – Jean Marc Ah-Sen, The Globe and Mail


“This novel is told vividly and directly, and it will leave readers with much to consider and question. Tamara Faith Berger is utterly unflinching, both in depicting human sexuality and posing difficult ethical quandaries. This is the kind of book that really highlights how avoidant so many novels are when it comes to exploring these fundamental pleasures and problems.” – Keith Mosman, Powell’s Books

“There are no easy moments, no comfort to be found in the searing prose. . . . When writers get young female sexuality right, stories become a revelation and such is the case with Maidenhead. The writing pulls the reader desperately close.” – Roxane Gay on MaidenheadThe Rumpus


“Myra’s confusion, her passion, her need for possession and to be possessed, make this novel an incredible read, finding its place, as Sheila Heti (who should know) wrote, ‘somewhere between the wilds of Judy Blume, Girls Gone Wild and Michel Foucault.'” – Flavorwire, on Maidenhead


“Raw, powerful, political, and compassionate, albeit with sharp elbows. ‘There are no forsaken human beings,’ writes Berger, and, indeed, through the cacophony of voices, violence, sex, and family conflict we get the shining ability of humans to survive, and the beauty that the buds of forgiveness finally enclose.” – Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You on Queen Solomon


“Berger’s writing is significant, poignant and consciously uncomfortable. Her portrait of female sexuality is daring, original and troubling. Berger’s language is crass; this isn’t missionary-style ‘love-making.’ This is dirty, animalistic sex. This is pornography rubbing up against the literary establishment.” – Telegraph-Journal on Little Cat


“I bought this book hoping for good masturbation material, but honestly my mind was too blown to even move my hand.” – Miranda July on Kuntalini


“Tamara Faith Berger has been writing challenging and sexy books for more than a decade.” – The Believer on Kuntalini

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Details

Dimensions:

192 Pages
8.0in * 5.0in * 0.5in
0.5lb

Published:

October 17, 2023

Publisher:

Coach House Books

ISBN:

9781552454671

Book Subjects:

FICTION / Jewish

Language:

eng

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