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Publisher's Summary

The Guggenheim Fellowship and Whiting Award-winning author Louis Edwards makes his long-awaited comeback with this epic tale of a New Orleans boy whose very creation is so filled with tension that it bedevils his destiny before he is even born.

Spanning from the Deep South to the Middle East, Ramadan Ramsey bridges multiple countries and cultures, entwining two families who struggle to love and survive in the face of war, natural disasters, and their equally tumultuous, private mistakes and yearnings.

Ramadan Ramsey begins in 1999 with the moving (and funny) teenage love story of Alicia Ramsey, a native New Orleans African American young woman, and Mustafa Totah, a Syrian immigrant who works in her neighborhood at his uncle’s convenience store. Through a series of familial betrayals, Mustafa returns to Syria unaware that Alicia is carrying his child. 

When the baby is born, Alicia names their son Ramadan and raises him with the help of her mother, Mama Joon. But tragedy strikes when the epochal hurricane of 2005 barrels into New Orleans, shattering both the Ramsey and Totah families. Years later, when Ramadan turns twelve, he sets off to find Mustafa. It is an odyssey filled with breathtaking and brilliant adventures that takes Ramadan from the familiar world of NOLA to Istanbul, and finally Aleppo, Syria, where he hopes to unite with the father he has never known.

Intimate yet epic, heartbreaking yet triumphant, Ramadan Ramsey explores the urgency of 21st century childhood and the richness and complexity of the modern family as a shared global experience. It is also a reminder of Louis Edwards’ immense talent and fearless storytelling and is a welcome return of this literary light.

©2021 Louis Edwards (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Ramadan Ramsey

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  • Overall
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Original and Imaginative, but...

For the first half of “Ramadan Ramsey,” I was totally taken in by the book. It was so well written, with appealing characters and a highly original plot. Ramadan’s parents and their families were colorful and intriguing. I was thoroughly enjoying it. But then Ramadan gets on an airplane and the plot turns unbelievable. The second half is a little too imaginative—and stretched—for me. No spoilers, but I stopped believing in the characters and the plot. Louis Edwards has a lively writing style, with clever references. The narration by Korey Jackson was strong. Overall, I’m glad I read it.

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Great Novel

Loved it. It captures the spirit of New Orleans in it's detailed descriptions. The coming of age story and rebirth is great.

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Routing for Ramadan

The verbiage was a bit over the top and hard to believe it could have resulted from the thoughts of a 12 year old and the people in his life. On the other hand it was refreshing. The narration was outstanding. The story was definitely unique and captivating.