Atrium: Poems - Hala Alyan Sea and Fog - Etel Adnan The Moor's Account: A Novel - Laila Lalami Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past - Sally Howell The Turtle of Oman - Naomi Shihab Nye The Olive Tree - Elsa Marston, Claire Ewart

Did you know it was Arab American Heritage Month? 

I went way down the rabbit hole on heritage/awareness/celebration months after learning that it was also National Poetry Month. That being said, expect there to be more crossovers in the future of this series. 


As I wrote the first few versions of this post, I realized that I had not read many Arab American authors, nor have I read about many Arab American characters. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I had only done so for one of each, Tahereh Mafi who wrote the Shatter Me Collection and Kamala Khan who saves people as the new Ms. Marvel

As I was verifying Mafi's heritage (I wouldn't want to call her Arab American if she wasn't, I hate it when people assume my heritage), I came upon something else that was interesting. Did you know that she was given an honorable mention by the Arab American National Museum for Shatter Me? Mafi was mentioned in 2013, since Shatter Me was published in 2012. The same year she was mentioned, both the poetry awardee and honorable mention were also women. There were others, but I mention these two also because this is both Arab American Heritage month and National Poetry Month. Their books are connected above. 

But what about this year? Well, the 2016 awardees haven't been announced yet, so we'll take a look at 2015 instead.  

Three of the five awards were given to women for the following books: 

The Moor's Account: A Novel - Laila Lalami 

Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim American Past - Sally Howell 

The Turtle of Oman - Naomi Shihab Nye  

Also, one of the honorable mentions was a woman:

The Olive Tree - Elsa Marston,Claire Ewart 


Even though this is Femme Friday, I'd still like to mention the books of the three men who were awarded/mentioned also (crossover! and the one novel does have a female protagonist so it totally counts anyway). They are: 

An Unnecessary Woman - Rabih Alameddine 

Tahrir Suite: Poems (Triquarterly) - Matthew Shenoda  

And the Time Is: Poems, 1958-2013 - Samuel Hazo 


What have you read that was written by or about an Arab American?