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You Exist Too Much (Digital Audiobook)

A Novel

By Zaina Arafat, Zehra Jane Naqvi (Narrator)

Publication Date: June 29, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (6/8/2021)
Hardcover (6/9/2020)

June 2020 Indie Next List

“Zaina Arafat’s You Exist Too Much is one of my favorite books of the year. This debut novel blew me away. Arafat’s narrator is confident in her vulnerability; her desire to be seen and understood is visceral and uncomfortably familiar. The intoxication of unrequited love and the disconcerting feeling that can accompany settling down are recognizable, yet in Arafat’s capable hands, I was transported. This book is for anyone who has struggled to fit into society’s neat boxes, who has been frustrated when emotions don’t follow a logical path, or who has been disappointed to find that sometimes the love of others isn’t enough.”
— Margaret Leonard, Dotters Books, Eau Claire, WI
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Description

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a twelve-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: "You exist too much," she tells her daughter.



Told in vignettes that flash between the US and the Middle East, Zaina Arafat's debut novel traces her protagonist's progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as "love addiction." In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her.



You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings—for love, and a place to call home.


About the Author

Zehra Jane Naqvi is a full-time voice-over artist, actress, and singer of Anglo/Indian origin. Originally from Australia, Zehra Jane has been based in the U.K. for the past twenty years, where she has enjoyed a successful career spanning stage and screen. From leads in West End shows to Bollywood movies and Dr. Who radio plays, her career has been diverse, to say the least!

Zehra set up her home studio in 2013, and, by immersing herself in the voice-over world, quickly discovered her passion for narrating audiobooks. Her mixed race heritage gives her a unique versatility that makes her completely convincing across age, ethnicity, class, and period.