Beyond Memory

An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Creative Nonfiction
Edited by Pauline Kaldas and Khaled Mattawa
276 pages, 6 × 9
March 2020

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This anthology brings together the voices of both new and established Arab American writers in a compilation of creative nonfiction that reveals the stories of the Arab diaspora in styles from the traditional to the experimental. Writers from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, and Syria explore issues related to politics, family, culture, and racism. Originating from different cultures and belief systems and including first- and second-generation immigrants as well as those whose identities encompass more than a single culture, these writers tell stories that speak to the complexity of the Arab American experience.

Pauline Kaldas is the author of Looking Both Ways, The Time between Places, Letters from Cairo, and Egyptian Compass, and she is the coeditor of Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction. She is professor of English and creative writing at Hollins University.

Khaled Mattawa is the author of the poetry collection Tocqueville and coeditor of Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction. A MacArthur Fellow and a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he is professor of English and creative writing at the University of Michigan, where he edits the Michigan Quarterly Review.

“Pauline Kaldas and Khaled Mattawa break new ground by bringing us another milestone collection of Arab American literary works. This anthology’s focus on creative nonfiction beautifully captures Arab American literature’s arrival as a vital and necessary part of the transnational American experience.”
—Carol W.N. Fadda

“The depth and breadth of this wonderful anthology speak for the multiple facets of the Arab diaspora in the US, reflecting on the challenges of occupying multiple political and cultural landscapes and reconnecting the disconnection between US hegemonic policies in the Middle East and domestic US racial politics. The authors in this anthology offer a thick description for the most intricate and intimate moments in their lives as children and as adults growing up in different countries, feeling estranged in both home country and host country.”
—Dalia Gomaa

“This collection offers up a spectrum of bold and vivid Arab American voices. These stories are startling, brave, funny, heartbreaking, and original. Together, they make an important contribution in both variety and depth to the modern literary scene. Beyond Memory is an essential work for anyone interested in the Arab American experience.”
—Diana Abu-Jaber

Elmaz Abinader | Pain Management

George Abraham | in which you do not ask the state of israel to commit suicide

Nabeel Abraham | On the Road with Bob: Peddling in the Early Sixties

Rabih Alameddine | Comforting Myths: Notes from a Purveyor

Hayan Charara | Going Places

Safia Elhillo | at the intersection

Joseph Geha | Where I’m From—Originally

Hadil Ghoneim | Baba and the Pontiac

Layla Azmi Goushey | Profile of a Citizen: Generations Then and Now

Tariq Al Haydar | Machine Language

Randa Jarrar | Biblioclast

Fady Joudah | Your Name Is on the List and Other Vignettes

Joe Kadi | The Saving Grace of a Favorite Cousin

Mohja Kahf | I Cannot Go to Syria

Pauline Kaldas | From Looking Both Ways: Walking Home, To Walk Cautiously in the World, A Sense of Direction

Laila Lalami | So to Speak

Lisa Suhair Majaj | Journeys to Jerusalem

Khaled Mattawa | Repatriation: A Libya Memoir

Iman Mersal | The Displaced Voice

Philip Metres | The Paperless “Palestinian” and the Russian P’liceman

Susan Muaddi Darraj | Bint Al-Halal: Mosaic of an Arab American Girlhood

Naomi Shihab Nye | One Village

Steven Salaita | Why I Was Fired

Mathew Shenoda | Christopher Columbus Was A Damn Blasted Liar: On the Narrative of Discovery in Global Literature

Kamelya Omayma Youssef | Frayed Towel Made Holy: Prayer [Rug] for This Nonbeliever

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