Saturday, July 17, 1999

Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber comes from a Palestinian-American family. Her first novel, Arabian Jazz won the Oregon Book Award and was a finalist for the national PEN/Hemingway Award.

Diana received her doctorate in English literature from the State University of New York. Her short fiction has appeared recently in Story and Kenyon Review. Most recently, she wrote and produced an hour-long personal documentary for National Public Radio called "The Language of Peace." She writes book and film reviews for The Oregonian, the LA Times and the Washington Post. She is currently Writer-In-Residence at Portland State University.

She recently returned from Amman where she’d traveled on a Fulbright grant to conduct interviews with Jordanian and Palestinian women in preparation for her novel, Memories of Birth, a book based on her grandmother’s life.
She married my grandfather at age 14 and had seventeen children. When she moved into the desert with my grandfather, who was a descendant of the Bedouins, she built one of the first libraries in Jordan in her home because so many people brought books to her.
-- Diana Abu-Jaber

She also received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant while writing this book.

To learn more visit her website at

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