Diana Abu-Jaber, The Language of Baklava

I’d never even considered making my own pita bread until I read the seemingly simple recipe in Diana Abu-Jaber’s wonderful memoir The Language of Baklava. In beautiful, resonant language, and delicious-sounding recipes (well, maybe not the Velveeta grilled-cheese sandwich one!) Abu-Jaber explores growing up between the culture of her expansive Jordanian father and that of her reserved and calm Irish-German-American mother. I too grew up in a multicultural household (not Arab in my case, but South Asian) and her experiences and words really resonated with me; I can still remember the utter shock of coming back to the US when I was nine years old!

Highly recommended if you like Arabic culture, yummy food, or interesting characters!

(Read from May 3-May 4, 2010)

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