The feminist magazine Bitch has announced their list of the top 25 most read articles — out of the 700+ that they published this year — and my book review “16 Writers Take on the Stigma of Not Having Kids” is on it!
To read the article on Bitch, click here.
The beautiful and challenging new film Mustang looks at the lengths that people will go to crush female independence and sexuality, and the varied responses young women can have in the face of strangling sexism and male domination. It’s notable that the film, which takes place in Turkey with a Turkish cast, is France’s official entry to the Academy Awards—the director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, is Turkish and French.
Mustang’s story is told through the eyes of Lale (Günes Sensoy), the youngest of five orphaned sisters who are being raised by their grandmother in a small Turkish town. Lale is only nine years old, but is wise enough to see injustice and sassy enough to renounce it. The film opens with her as narrator saying, “It’s like everything changed in the blink of an eye. One moment we were fine, then everything turned to shit.” (more…)
I’ve been chosen to be part of the cast of Expressing Motherhood! I’m going to read a piece from my memoir-in-progress about choosing to be childfree. The show is one night only–on Saturday, November 7th at 7:30PM at Spirit Studio in Silverlake. Tickets are on sale now and since it’s in a small setting it’s going to sell out fast…buy your tickets now by clicking here! They’re $25 each, but the show should be well worth the splurge!
"You're Arab American?" "Yep." I nod, knowing what they'll say next. "I never would've guessed. You don't even look Arab." "That's what people tell me," I say with a smile, shrugging my shoulders. Over the years, I've played with different responses, having heard this reaction innumerable times from both Arabs and non-Arabs...
My essay, “Passing as White, Flaming as Arab–Why Mixed-Heritage Arab American Women Writers Choose Not to Pass as White and Instead to Flame as Arab,” has been published in the latest issue of Mizna! (Click on the title to read the essay in PDF. Visit mizna.org to buy your own copy of the amazing issue.)
Special thanks to Amira Jarmakani, Diana Abu-Jaber, Leila Buck, Lisa Suhair Majaj and Naomi Shihab Nye, who contributed their personal experiences and brilliant ideas.
Right after the Super Bowl, I published my take on the halftime show on my blog Feminist in the Suburbs. The next morning Bitch republished the article and got over 14K hits in 3 days! Check it out: Katy Perry’s Extremely Straight Performance of “I Kissed a Girl” at the Super Bowl.
This Friday, I’ll be reading some of my latest work at The Last Bookstore is located at 453 S. Spring St in Downtown LA.
The Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) conference starts tomorrow in Minneapolis! I’m speaking on a panel Friday morning about Arab American identity. I had the honor of interviewing some heavy hitters: poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye, novelist and memoirist Diana Abu-Jaber, poet and essayist Lisa Suhair Majaj, playwright and actor Leila Buck, and writer and scholar Amira Jarmakani. I asked them why, as mixed-heritage Arab American woman who could “pass” as white, they instead choose to “flame” as Arab, boldly communicating their Arabic roots. (The language of the study, as the study itself, are works in progress as almost no one thinks that they “flame” — as one participant put it, is not hiding who you are the same as flaming?)
I found that their experiences show that identities are not static, they shape shift along with us and can serve as powerful tools to connect with broader communities for storytelling, activism and a sense-of-self.
Drop by at 9AM on Friday to hear all about it! (For those of you who won’t be at the conference, unfortunately, it won’t be streaming live on Skype just yet. Maybe next year. Email me for the cliff notes.)
P.S. Thanks to the A-B in my name I’m at the top of the list of presenters! Check it out here.
I remember walking into the Sanrio store as a little girl and thinking I had landed in heaven. No other store in our suburban mall carried what I needed to survive elementary school: lunch boxes, pencils and their holders, markers, erasers, and so much more. We used to call it “the Hello Kitty store” because the famous white feline’s face—with her black eyes, yellow nose, three whiskers on each cheek, and pink bow over her right ear—appeared on every product.