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 that range from the traditional to the experimental. Writers from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, and Syria explore issues related to politics, family, culture, and racism. Coming from different belief systems and cultures 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 the 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 collaborate again to put together a wonderful anthology of creative nonfiction by Arab American authors. The depth and breadth of this 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, such as Rabih Alameddine, Iman Mersal, Elmaz Abinader, Matthew Shenoda, Mohja Kahf, and Joe Kadi, to name only a few, 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.”
“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
“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.”