Sunday, February 08, 2004


My first novel, A Map of Home is forthcoming in September. It won the Hopwood and Geoffrey James Gosling Awards at the University of Michigan, where I received my MFA. The novel will also be published in Taiwan, Germany, Israel, and Italy, and portions of it have already been translated into Italian, Finnish, and Arabic.

My short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Hunger Mountain, Duck & Herring, online, and in numerous anthologies. My short story, “You Are a Fourteen-Year-Old Arab Chick Who Just Moved To Texas,” won the Million Writers Award and was a notable story in Best American Non-Required Reading 2005.

My translations from the Arabic have appeared in numerous anthologies including Words Without Borders: The World Through the Eyes of Writers. I translated the acclaimed Lebanese novel Year of the Revolutionary New Bread-Making Machine (Saqi/Telegram Books).

I'm also a columnist at Make/Shift magazine.

Currently, I live in Ann Arbor with my 11-year-old son Angelo, my boyfriend Russell, and our cat, Mahatma Boots.

Here is a fun timeline for your pleasure:

1978: I am born to an Egyptian-Greek Mama and a Palestinian Baba in Chicago. We move to Kuwait two months later.
1982: I begin school early and my journey of nerddom and doing-things-too-soon begins.
1990: Iraq invades Kuwait and I move to Alexandria, Egypt.
1991: My dad gets a job in NYC and I move to White Plains, NY
1992: I move to Greenwich, CT, which is so white it scars me for life.
1994: I enroll at Sarah Lawrence College at age 16.
1996: I give birth to my son at age 18.
1998: I move to Austin, TX to escape family and ex.
2000: I receive an MA in Middle Eastern Studies.
2000: I begin novel.
2001: I move to a trailer in Kyle, TX (pop. 5,000 at the time) & begin novel again.
2003: I finish novel.
2004: I begin revising novel. And I start this blog.
2006: I sell novel.
2006: I move to Ann Arbor to attend University of Michigan's MFA program.
2007: Novel wins Hopwood Award
2008: I receive my MFA in fiction.

Timeline will continue as drama accrues...


Blogger Mumbo Jumbo said...

Wow! I just read your bio with my jaw dropped open, I couldn't wait to read the next word and the next... where are your posts? You're an awesome writer with such an interesting life! I'm dying to know more....

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2008: You are a star. (You're already that, but that's when the rest of the world will know.)

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy to have found you! I am a current M.F.A. student at The New College of California in San Francisco. I will be discussing "Lost In Freakin' Yonkers" for class next weekend. I am also Iranian-American Poet. :)

5:13 PM  
Blogger rockslinga said...

Thank you all for your sweetness!

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a good writer, good luck :)

12:19 PM  
Blogger Pamela Uschuk said...

I just googled "cordel" and found your comment and quote from NYT by Mark Curren-- it was over drinks with Mark last night after a Spanish class he teaches locally that my wife and I, both poets w/an interest in internat'l lit, learned he was a/the cordel authority in the US. Then going through your admirable and spirited (claro!) bio/biblio I decided to ask you to check out our litmag website [ my wife, Pamela, is editor-in-chief, I'm poetry editor] and consider submitting fiction this fall for the Feb 09 print edition (we do a summer online and spring print edition annually). And we'd be delighted to review your forthcoming novel if your publisher would send a copy [contact info at website].

Meanwhile all continued best to you and your son,

William Pitt Root

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Randa,

I actually knew you via my boyfriend at the time way back in the Sarah Lawrence days (I believe you were in Chi's seminar with him). Anyway, imagine my surprise when I saw your name and new novel linked from Maud Newton's site! So I just wanted to write and tell you congratulations on the publication, and that I cannot WAIT to receive the copy that I just ordered from Amazon so that I may devour it! Again, congratulations!

Atherton Bartelby

2:53 PM  
Blogger rockslinga said...

Hey William!
Thanks so much for your kind wishes.

Thanks for dropping by.
Give your boyfriend all my best! I hope he you dig the book; also, it'll be interesting to see if G will recognize Chi's influence :)

12:48 PM  

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