Sunday, October 19, 2008

Movin' On...

It's been fun here on rockslinga, but I'm movin' on out to a more grown-up spot:

Update your bookmarks, y'all!

Friday, October 17, 2008

First Middle East Review of A Map of Home

Andrea Walker of the New Yorker reviews A Map of Home in the UAE's The National. It's a really thorough (spoilers!) and intelligent review- I loved it. Read it here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mama & Baba & A Map of Home

When I was writing the novel, I never stopped to wonder what my parents would think of it; the very idea of them reading it would have stopped me in my tracks. But just before it came out, I spent at least three therapy sessions fretting about them reading it. I pretended to send them copies via FedEx; they called every few days and left messages saying, "Where is ze Fed Ex? We have not received ze books!" When I saw them a couple of weekends ago, I'd run out of excuses, and handed them their inscribed copies with pride- the only way I thought I could "give it up."

They have both now read my novel. My mother loved it; she said she enjoyed all the crazy parts, and that it was "like life." I worried that she would think the mom character was too feisty, but the only concern she had was that there was a typo of the transliteration of the Arabic word for tablecloth.

My father finished it on an airplane, and loved it as well, though he called my mother all worked up about the sex scenes. Go figure. I thought he'd be upset about the portrayal of the father as an abusive stubborn ass, but instead, he was worried about what my son will think of all the sex when he reads the book in a few years.

I am relieved, and also really happy to have their support and blessing, because even though I don't need it, I can't pretend that I don't want it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rereading The Stranger

I'm rereading the short novel after a dear friend told me that she heard a professor call Camus an Arab. I remember being really saddened by it as a teen, and so I'm tickled by my current reaction to it (intrigue). Are there any books you once loved/hated that you're now rereading, and what do you think of them?

Here's a list of books I once loved that I'd be curious to re-read:

Bastard Out of Carolina
, Dorothy Allison
The Metamorphosis, Kafka
The Red Badge of Courage & Maggie: Girl of the Streets, Stephen Crane
The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne
Nervous Conditions, Tsitsi Dangarembga
Woman at Point Zero, Nawal el-Saadawi (already know I'd hate this one now)
The Choker and the Bracelet, Yehia Taher Abdallah

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Homoerotic Egyptian Film Moment Sunday!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Le Clézio defends American literarture

From Newsweek:
In an impromptu press conference today at the headquarters of Gallimard, the most prestigious publishing house in 20th Century French literature, housed in a tiny enclave of left bank Paris, the author quoted numerous American contemporaries he esteems—chief among them Philip Roth. "American literature is atypical – unlike French literature it gives rise to all sorts of states, styles and authors who are distinct."
I'm glad. I thought Engdhal's comments were impetuous and full of hot air.

Link via Russell

Reminder: Reading tonight at 6 at MOCAD

I'm reading at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit at 6 tonight with Michael Kimball and Lynn Crawford. Hope to see you there!

Mulokhiyya Body Wash

I've always loved the smell of Mr. Rockslinga's body wash, but I never knew why the scent seemed so familiar. Reading the contents a few minutes ago, I laughed out loud when I saw the words "Mallow flower." Turns out, the body wash uses the main ingredient of my favorite, leafy Egyptian dish.

Fucking hysterical.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dzanc Books Write-A-Thon

Please consider participating in Dzanc Book's Write-A-Thon, the details of which can be found here. It's a noble cause! Dzanc Books is a non-profit which publishes awesome books, & works nationally in "set communities to provide writing workshops and year round programs for students and adults alike."

Some info:
The idea behind the write-a-thon will be similar to bowl-a-thons, or walk-a-thons, or, well you get the picture - other a-thons that you've probably supported or participated in during your lifetime, only with writing being the catalyst to the raising of funds. For one day, people will volunteer to write to help raise money, and they will ask people to fill out a donation sheet to support their efforts.

[Saturday, November 15, 2008] will be the date that those helping out Dzanc Books by raising money will be writing. Again I'm asking that you writers out there please consider being one of those that help us raise money that day. If you are interested, please email us at

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Map of Home in Taiwan!

My novel just found a home at Locus, a prestigious Taiwanese publishing house. I'm really excited!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Map of Home in Entertainment Weekly

It gets an A-. Check it out here. Very exciting!