Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Persepolis opens today

Wow. Moving and indescribably sweet, the Persepolis film rocks. I felt like I was engulfed by Satrapi's world--and not because I sat in one of the first rows of the theater, the subway rumbling under my feet. I can't wait to see it again.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday High-Ate-Us

Rockslinga is going on a very short holiday hiatus. ***I'll be sharing some good news on the flip-side as the new year approaches***
Snake Lady Says:

Have a
Happy Holiday!

David Lynch's Plan for Peace in Israel

This is ancient news by now, but i wanted to share in case some of you haven't seen it. Click here for some crazy shit.

(Via Ed & Ed)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Frivolous Holiday Question: Straight or Kinky? I Need Y'all's Advice

OK, so I'm going to visit the parents this weekend. We'll convene in the old wooden house which we moved to when I was 14. They live in the Middle East, and my siblings & I live all over the place, and all of us convene at the house once or twice a year. Now, I've found that in recent visits, my folks and I have gotten along just fine. They're very sweet, the best supporters of my writing, and really funny, but they're also sort of shallow (I can hear them now, yelling, "Nopody's Berfect!") I find that when I wear nice clothes during the visit, they pick on my weight less and are generally kinder to me. (I can hear my Arab chica readers relatin'.) I also find that when I straighten my hair before I get on the airplane, there's a 70% chance they'll be nicer when they see me. But, I feel less "me" with straight hair, AND, it takes me ages to straighten it. My flight is early, and I'd have to lose a full hour of sleep to straighten. So...here's my dilemma: do I straighten my hair, or leave it curly? Here are some pics to help you decide:

Yours in shallowness,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Human Rights Day, Y'all

And this is the 23rd year that the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America has given awards to outstanding books which advance human rights. Among this year's winners:
  • Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) This book rocks!

  • Micki McElya, Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America (Harvard University Press) From the press release:"...in 1923 the US Senate, after voting down an anti-lynching bill, approved for Washington, DC, “the erection as a gift to the people of the US [of a] monument in memory of the faithful colored mammies of the South”

  • And this makes me super-super proud: Steven Salaita, for Anti-Arab Racism in the US (Pluto Press) Again from the press release, the book "compellingly demonstrates the depths of bigotry in legislation and pronouncements across the spectrum, “neo-conservatives to liberals and progressives."

  • A big congratulations to all!

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Class Visit

    A couple of days ago, I visited with a super smart American Cultures class on Arab-American History here at the University of Michigan to talk about my writing. I read an excerpt from my novel and an excerpt from a story I just wrote. The kids responded to the humor and there were a few raised hands at the end of the lecture:

    Where do you get your ideas? (Everywhere. I have this maybe-cheesy personal philosophy to keep myself totally open to the universe, and allow stories, images, ideas to attach themselves to me/ to my sub-conscious, and when I sit down to write, out they flow.)

    Your writing explores taboo topics. What has the reaction been to your writing? (Positive. Sweet. Couldn't ask for better.)

    Any hate mail? (Once. I told the cops and they filed it under a terrorist threat. I then found myself defending the asshole who was threatening to beat me up.)

    Aren't you afraid of your parents? (No. They already disowned me once. They missed me too much and they've learned a lesson.)

    Do you think it'll take a book like The Kite Runner to bring Arab-American writing to the forefront? (I hope not. If a book does hit it big, I hope it includes more voices and diversity and authenticity than the KR. Ideally, I'd like a wave of books to rise, and bring Arab-American writing closer to other immigrant writing, and to general literature. I don't want it to be ghetto-ized.)

    And this question, which was wonderful and surprising: Do you feel a responsibility to write about Arab-Americans?

    This has been a topic of great pain and interest to me lately. I'd like to explore Arab themes, but I don't want to be stuck or bored. I want to write about the other things I'm obsessed about: parenting, food, body size, family, sex, and writing. When my Arab-American friends and I talk, we don't perseverate over Arab topics. We just hang. When I go about my day, I don't have a soundtrack of Arab-American issues accompanying my every move. So this is the thing I've been sorting out the most lately, as I plan and think about my next novel.

    Monday, December 03, 2007

    Bansky's Bethlehem

    Badass Bansky is back in Bethelehem. Pics of his new bold murals and exhibit here.

    Link via Russell

    A week away

    I'm a week away from being done with the semester. Forgive my light posting and general absence.

    I just finished reading A Moveable Feast. I guess you either love it or you hate it--I fall into the 1st camp. I love reading about glam and fabulous Paris, even if it's fake, and I love reading Tatie's views on writing--not just the famous "true sentence" line, but that you have to keep working. My favorite part is when he washes the nipples and bottles and feeds his son and hangs with F. Puss the cat and writes. Hem as a single dad, almost.

    Next on my reading list is Ethan Coen's Gates of Eden, which I picked up after reading his awesome story in the most recent issue of Zoetrope.