"This anthology does readers an immense service by highlighting a little-understood and underrepresented part of the population in the United States."—Alpana Sharma, professor of English, Wright State University
"A very valuable reference tool representing a wide variety of contributors with different sensibilities and priorities. It brings together considerable talent, some well-established, some new voices, and offers a good balance of poetry and prose."—Samia Serageldin, author of Cairo House: A Novel
The writers included here are descendants of multiple cultural heritages and reflect the perspectives of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds: Egyptian, Iranian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Libyan, Palestinian, Syrian. They are from diverse socioeconomic classes and spiritual sensibilities: Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and atheist, among others. Yet, they coexist in this volume simply as American voices.
Atefat-Peckham gathered poetry and prose from sixteen accomplished writers whose works concern a variety of themes: from the familial cross-cultural misunderstandings and conflicts in the works of Iranian American writers Nahid Rachlin and Roger Sedarat to the mysticism of Khaled Mattawa’s poems; from the superstitions that govern characters in Diana Abu-Jaber’s prose to the devastating homesickness of Pauline Kaldas’s characters. Filled with emotion and keen observations, this collection showcases these writers’ vital contributions to contemporary American literature.
Susan Atefat-Peckham (1970–2004) was assistant professor of English at Georgia College and State University. She wrote That Kind of Sleep and Black Eyed Bird, and her poems have appeared in several journals, including Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review, and the Literary Review.
6 x 9, 272 pages