By Diana Abu-Jaber
In Diana Abu-Jaber's "impressive, entertaining" (Chicago Tribune) first novel, a small, poor-white neighborhood in upstate manhattan turns into domestic to the transplanted Jordanian kinfolk of Matussem Ramoud: his grown daughters, Jemorah and Melvina; his sister Fatima; and her husband, Zaeed. The widower Matuseem loves American jazz, kitschy garden adorns, and, in fact, his daughters. Fatima is passionate about seeing her nieces married—Jemorah is sort of thirty! Supernurse Melvina is firmly dedicated to her paintings, yet Jemorah is ambivalent approximately her id and position. Is she Arab? Is she American? should still she marry and, if this is the case, whom? Winner of the Oregon ebook Award and finalist for the nationwide PEN/Hemingway Award, Arabian Jazz is "a pleasure to read.... you'll be tempted to learn passages out loud. and also you should" (Boston Globe). USA Today praises Abu-Jaber's "gift for dialogue...her Arab-American earrings musically, and hilariously, true."
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Extra info for Arabian Jazz
Everything seemed better. The principal moved Nate into a new classroom, which breathed life into our son, and he was suddenly begging us to stay for lunch instead of being the only one to go home. Over and over, Nate would tell us that he wanted to be just like the other kids. He was desperately scared of being different — even more so than he was of being bullied. Once Nate was settled in his new class, I became obsessed with making sure he was okay. I begged Pete to go to the school at random times to check in on what was going on at the playground.
I don’t like writing in my journal. ” “You wrote in your journal the other day. You did a great job. ” I shake my head. “Maybe you could write about pizza? ” “Oh, I don’t think that’s true. You told us in Show & Share last week that your dad made you, your friend Noah, and Grace pizza for dinner on Saturday night. ” “Yes, Nate, it was. You even made the pizza in our art time. Here, look . ” Mrs. Brock walked to the sharing bulletin board. She pointed to something that looked like badly drawn pizza.
Freaking out. And my ankle hurts so bad. It really, really hurts. I need help. I want my mommy.
Arabian Jazz by Diana Abu-Jaber