The Saint of Incipient Insanities by Elif Shafak
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The Saint of Incipient Insanities is the comic and heartbreaking story of a group of twenty-something friends, and their never-ending quest for fulfillment.
Omer, Abed and Piyu are roommates, foreigners all recently arrived in the United States. Omer, from Istanbul, is a Ph.D. student in political science who adapts quickly to his new home, and falls in love with the bisexual, suicidal, intellectual chocolate maker Gail. Gail is American yet feels utterly displaced in her homeland and moves from one obsession to another in an effort to find solid ground. Abed pursues a degree in biotechnology, worries about Omer’s unruly ways, his mother’s unexpected visit, and stereotypes of Arabs in America; he struggles to maintain a connection with his girlfriend back home in Morocco. Piyu is a Spaniard, who is studying to be a dentist in spite of his fear of sharp objects, and is baffled by the many relatives of his Mexican-American girlfriend, Algre, and in many ways by Algre herself.
Keenly insightful and sharply humorous, The Saint of Incipient Insanities is a vibrant exploration of love, friendship, culture, nationality, exile and belonging.