- Series: Jusoor (Series), 11/12. (Book 11)
- Paperback: 460 pages
- Publisher: Kitab; 1st edition (January 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0965203131
- ISBN-13: 978-0965203135
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,791,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Post Gibran: Anthology of New Arab American Writing (Jusoor (Series), 11/12.) Paperback – January 1, 2000
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Library Journal
The author of The Prophet and the best-known Arab American literary figure, the late Kahlil Gibran would be proud of a new generation represented in this anthology of more than 40 writers and poets. After more than a century of Arab immigration to the United States, Arab American literature in English remains largely obscure, to say the least. This collection of previously unpublished poetry, drama, fiction, creative prose, and literary and cultural criticism features a range of writers, both seasoned and upcoming. While the Middle East and the old country are often reference points, themes are not limited in this regard. Most of the contributors have been influenced by their ethnic and cultural background, current political events, and the American experience, while some of the writers included are not Arab at all but identify with Arab culture. This ambitious, richly illustrated volume is both a celebration of an ethnic experience and a window through which to view Arab American literature still in its infancy. Although the brief introduction could have offered more historic and cultural background to an American audience largely ill informed about the Arab American community, this wonderful collection is recommended for all literature collections. [See also Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry, reviewed on p. 105.--Ed.]--Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.
---Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Showing 1-1 of 1 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Post Gibran, a collection of recent Arab American writing, appears to buck the rules of both the canonical and the commercial anthologies. Multi-generational and multi-genre, Post Gibran is more a poetics of Arab American writing than a collection of museum pieces. Editors Akash and Mattawa worked against the rules of the anthology game by actively soliciting "new and previously unpublished works...writing that confronted issues Arab-American writers have not tackled in the past." Moreover, they "encouraged cross-genre experiments. We asked poets to send us their experiments in fictions, essayists their attempts at drama or a screenplay, and so on. Changes in form, we felt, are important signifiers of changes both in subject matter and tactics." The editorial strategy counters the immigrant tendency to narrow and reify the histories and present realities of the Old Countr(ies).
The resulting collection is full of surprises: a mosaic of novel fragments, essays, manifestoes, short stories, and memoirs, all of which reflect on and propose ways of writing Arab-American experience. Many of the selections confront the experience of liminal subjectivity, the riddle of dual identity-people who are read as "Arab" by Americans, and "American" by Arabs. Elmaz Abinader's "Sixty Minutes" and Kathryn Abdul-Baki's "Ghost Song" document the inner conflicts over negotiating divided identity. Both involve what we might term "checkpoint scenes"-scenes in which characters find themselves detained, searched, and harassed by military personnel. In each case (the first in Saudi Arabia, the second in Israel), the Arab-American woman is able to extricate herself physically only by virtue of her U.S. passport, but not without momentarily experiencing what her Arab sisters (and brothers) frequently endure. Penny Johnson's "The Lessons of Leila," by contrast, is told from the perspective of an American teacher who finds herself inexorably pulled into a post-funeral demonstration in the West Bank by a twelve-year old named Leila.
Other selections set in the United States detail how Arab-American experience involves an intricate weaving between historical memory and the present, between an Arab past and an American present. In Diana Abu-Jaber's "The Way Back," the writer's husband takes her on a surprise trip to the Onondaga Nation reservation, but upon entering, she momentarily believes that she has returned to Beit El Salaam refugee camp where she lived as a child. She almost refuses to enter. Later, interspersing her present situation as an American with memories of her family's expulsion from their village, she meditates: "What is a refugee camp? A skin between you and the elements, a place of laying bare, exposing throat and eyes, sister to the concentration camp. Death is there. It is in the sunrise when we wake; it is in the sewers running down the street, the homes of metal strips. Dust fills the air and coats our tongues. There are no beginnings to stories in refugee camps.... Still, we cook, we thank-God and scoop up the rice in one quick fist, we dance threaded together, give release to our spirits" (5).
Overall, the strength of this anthology lies in its refusal to claim representativeness through canonical works. (For example, well-known poet Naomi Shihab Nye contributes only a short essay). Still, Post Gibran covers a surprisingly large territory-at once aesthetic, geographical, and political-from the experience of Copts in Egypt to Armenians in Lebanon. Salah El-Moncef's postmodern-cum-magical realist adventure "A Tree with a Dream" reads like Kafka by way of Baudrillard. Political poems about women's bodies-Mojha Kahf's "My Body is Not Your Battleground"-juxtapose interestingly against poems delving into the courtly love tradition, like Samuel Hazo's "The Origins of Western Love." David Williams's poem to his father, "Inheritance" reflects on the way in which the fragmented and exilic identity of Arab-Americans speaks to, perhaps, the fragmentary nature of all identity: "I wanted you to tell me what really happened,/some story bigger than yourself.//Instead you left me scraps. Well maybe/we all put ourselves together like that."