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Diana Abu-Jaber Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Children's Books

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Language of Baklava: A Memoir (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Delivering a Public Speech: Learning the Process of Mass Addressing (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life Without a Recipe (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Ploughshares Fall 1990(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blue Christmas(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eat Joy(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Diana Abu-Jaber
Diana Abu-Jaber divides her time between Portland, Oregon and Fort Lauderdale. Her writing has appeared in Salon, Good Housekeeping, The Nation, Ms., the New York Times, Vogue, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

“Crescent” was awarded the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award and the PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction. It was also named one of the twenty best novels of 2003 by The Christian Science Monitor. “Arabian Jazz” won the Oregon Book Award in 1994 and got a PEN/Faulkner Award nomination.

She finds that it is best to just ignore writer’s block and power on through.

Diana gets inspired to write by paying attention, and she carries pens and notebooks around with her.

“Arabian Jazz” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 1993. A small and poor white community in upstate New York becomes the home to the transplanted Jordanian family of Matussem Ramoud, his sister (Fatima) and her husband (Zaeed), his grown daughters (Melvina and Jemorah). The widower Matuseem loves kitschy lawn ornaments, American jazz, and his daughters, of course.

Fatima is obsessed with seeing her nieces all get married, Jemorah is almost thirty! Melvina the supernurse has firmly committed herself to her work, however Jemorah is ambivalent about her role and identity. Is she American? Or is she Arab? Should she get married and if so, to whom?

This novel is a joy to read, and you will be tempted to read passages out loud, which you definitely should. Diana has got a gift for dialogue, and her Arab-American rings musically, and hilariously true.

There are humorous parts, but it feels like it gets darker as you continue reading it as it tackles some morbid issues, like rape, femicide, abortion, and incest, as well as so many other things.

“Crescent” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2003. Diana weaves with spellbinding magic a multidimensional love story that’s set in the Arab-American community of LA.

Sirine (39 years old) never married, and lives with her devoted Iraqi-immigrant uncle and this adoring dog called King Babar. She works at a Lebanese restaurant as a chef, her passions just be aroused by the preparations of food, until this unbearably handsome Arabic literature professor begins dropping by for some home cooking. Falling in love brings her whole heart to a boil, stirring up some memories of her parents and questions about her own identity as an Arab-American.

Infused with the flavors and scents of Middle Eastern food, written in a lyrical and lush style, and spiced with fable and history, this is a sensuous love story and is a gripping story of commitment and risk.

This novel is about loss, passion, forgiveness, and guilt, LA, Iraq, and food. All of which is wrapped up in this hazily romantic, but laced with foreboding package. Diana delivers a novel that overflows with emotional tension and atmosphere.

“Origin” is the third stand alone novel and was released in 2007. Diana delivers a mystery of dark isolation and cold beauty, written with crystalline precision where a series of crib deaths in Syracuse, New York draws police and national media attention. Could there be a serial infant murderer at large?

A haunting tale that is icy cold in its upstate New York setting yet glowing with the unusual brightness of its heroine. It stars a solitary fingerprint examiner that finds herself playing a critical role in the case. Diana is graceful and gifted, while she masterfully transcends formula while the tension of the novel escalates, shaped just as much by beautifully nuanced prose while menacing events.

Finally, here is a novel of literary suspense which gets just about everything right, both psychologically and forensically.

“Birds of Paradise” is the fourth stand alone novel and was released in 2011. A beautifully textured and multilayered novel about self, family, generosity, and self-indulgence set against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami.

In the tropical paradise of Miami, Brian and Avis Muir still are being haunted by Felice, their ineffably beautiful daughter, going missing after she ran away at the age of 13. Now, after five years of clubbing, skateboarding, modeling tattoos, and sleeping in a squat house or on the beach, Felice will soon turn eighteen.

Her family: Brian is a corporate real estate attorney, Stanley is her brother and is the proprietor of Freshly Grown (a trendy food market), and Avis is an exquisitely talented pastry chef. Each of them are going to be forced to face their loss, anguish, and sense of betrayal. All the while, she must reckon with the guilty secret which drove her away, and must confront her fear of losing her family and her own sense of self forever.

A family coming apart at the seams, and finds its way back together again, is fully involving and deeply satisfying, it’s a glorious feast of a novel.

“Silverwood” is the fifth stand alone novel and was released in 2020. Fall under the spell of this fantasy adventure story about this Lebanese-American girl that finds the bravery to save her grandma.

Sitti (Sami’s Lebanese grandma) has been ill for a while now, slipping out of reality and speaking a language only Sami’s able to understand. Her family believes that Sitti belongs in a nursing home, however Sami does not believe she is sick at all. Sami is desperate to help, so she casts a spell from her grandma’s mysterious charm book and falls through this ancient mirror into a world that’s unlike any other.

Welcome to Silverworld, this enchanted city where dark and light creatures called Shadows and Flickers strive to live in harmony. However Flickers have began going missing lately, and powerful Shadow soldiers have been taking over the land.

Everybody in Silverworld suspects that Shadow Queen Nixie is the one responsible for all this chaos, which is pretty bad enough. However could Nixie actually be holding Sami’s grandma in her grasp as well? To save Silverworld and Sitti, Sami has to brave danger, adventure, and the most difficult challenge of all: change.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Diana Abu-Jaber

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