Diana Abu-Jaber’s vibrant, humorous memoir weaves together stories of being raised by a food-obsessed Jordanian father with tales of Lake Ontario shish kabob cookouts and goat stew feasts under Bedouin tents in the desert. These sensuously evoked repasts, complete with recipes, in turn illuminate the two cultures of Diana’s childhood–American and Jordanian–while helping to paint a loving and complex portrait of her impractical, displaced immigrant father who, like many an immigrant before him, cooked to remember the place he came from and to pass that connection on to his children. The Language of Baklava irresistibly invites us to sit down at the table with Diana’s family, sharing unforgettable meals that turn out to be as much about “grace, difference, faith, love” as they are about food.
About the Author
Diana Abu-Jaber is most recently the author of Birds of Paradise, an Indie Books Pick, as well as of the award winning memoir, The Language of Baklava, the best-selling novels Origin andCrescent, which was awarded the 2004 PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction and the American Book Award. Her first novel Arabian Jazz won the 1994 Oregon Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award.
A frequent contributor to NPR, Abu-Jaber teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland and Miami.
“Literary Memoir as an Arab American Art Form,” by Raff Ellis in Al-Hakawati
Book Club Information
Date: Rescheduled for Tuesday, November 26, 2013at 6:15 pm
Location: Multnomah County Library Central Library, U.S. Bank Room, 810 SW 10th Avenue
Speaker: Diana Abu-Jaber, author and Portland State University Associate Professor of English