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.


Anonymous Jade Park said...

I LOVE that they are totally fans of your work!

I swear, there is a published story of mine that my parents read: the father figure is a total tyrant. I was afraid my dad would think it was him and even blurted out, "Daddy that person is not YOU! I only took the worst parts of you so that I could make an interesting character"

And my dad quickly responded, "Of course it's not me! I know you totally made it up!"


He has passed that story around to all his friends by now.

People hardly recognize any negative part of themselves.

So be assured--and keep writing without reservation!

12:02 AM  
Blogger Leila said...

Congratulations, Randa, this is huge. I am really glad it has worked out. *I* was anxious on your behalf. My own projections!

I didn't tell anybody in the village that I was working on a novel about ... a young woman's return to that village after the war. I just didn't want to answer questions.

You go, girl!

5:03 AM  

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