Details and more info can be found at
I am writing to tell you about Alia’s new book, A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories. Post Ft. Hood, it becomes clear again that the national conversation only checks in w/Arab or Muslim Americans when something bad happens and an Arab or Muslim is at fault. Alia’s book is an attempt to get ahead of that reactive dynamic and insert the Arab American experience into both American historical and contemporary narratives.
The book is a narrative non-fiction look at American history as lived by Arab Americans. It starts on the football field in 1948 in Birmingham, Alabama (at the first Iron Bowl of the modern era) and comes up to the current day. Each chapter moves us forward in time, stopping at a significant event in history, significant from an Arab American perspective. Some of these events are important to all Americans, while some are forgotten, and others yet virtually unknown. We experience each of these moments in time in the skin of a different individual. The events that make up this alternate timeline of American history are turning points not only in the individuals’ lives, but also in the macro story of Arab
Americans. Along the way, changes in American society — ie the racial paradigm, its laws, ethos etc — are re-visited and made tangible.
The book was Publisher Weekly’s “Pick of the Week” recently and has received advance praise from Queen Noor of Jordan, Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Shadid, Helen Thomas, and others. She will be doing readings/events on the East and West Coasts and in the Midwest – come out if you can!
Keep in mind that publishers are looking to see whether or not there is a market for books (that aren’t sensationalist) about Arab and Muslim American communities. They’ll be looking at how this book sells when considering whether to back such books in the future. It’s important that they see we do read and do spend our money! Consider buying for yourself, as a gift for others, and passing the word.
Now in bookstores, from Simon & Schuster/Free Press — “A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories” by Alia Malek.