Naomi Shihab Nye
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
I remember coming across this beautifully written (and illustrated) children’s book when I was a high schooler in Beirut. Despite being older than its intended audience, I reread it countless times. Naomi Shihab Nye perfectly captures the bittersweet family dynamics that exist in diaspora and the task of loving people despite barriers of oceans, languages, and time zones (see WLT, Jan. 2014).
Suheir Hammad’s latest collection of poetry is an explosive work of past and present, dislocation and home, intimacy and politics, resulting in pieces that are both visually and sonically evocative. The book meditates on the concept of breaking as it relates to female bodies, Palestinian land, the human spirit.
Him, Me, Muhammad Ali
The piercing, irreverent stories in Randa Jarrar’s debut collection don’t shy away from the awkward or painful (or even the occasionally surreal) and are infused with vividly nuanced characters, many of them Arab and female. Their lives are flawed and paradoxical, and Jarrar unflinchingly tackles the messiness of familial disappointment, love, and sex.