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A Reading of “Birds of Paradise” by Diana Abu-Jaber

Date: 7:00pm PDT October 4, 2011 Location: Manor House, Armstrong Lounge

Manor House, Armstrong Lounge

Please join the Department of English for a reading of Birds of Paradise by author Diana Abu-Jaber.

Diana Abu-Jaber was born in Upstate New York and lived there until she was 7 when her family moved to Amman for two years. Her father is Jordanian and her mother is American, and she has lived between America and Jordan ever since. She received her doctorate in English literature from the State University of New York. She has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon, and UCLA.  She is most recently the author of Birds of Paradise, an Indie Books Pick, as well as of the award winning memoir, The Language of Baklava, the best-selling novels Origin and Crescent, which was awarded the 2004 PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction and the American Book Award. Her first novel Arabian Jazz won the 1994 Oregon Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award.

A frequent contributor to NPR, she teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland and Miami.

 “Abu-Jaber makes us wonder about more that what will happen to one girl with a guilty secret. What, after all, does it mean to be a family? Is love really ‘exchangeable, malleable’? We can’t help turning pages full of stunning prose to find out.” (Sarah Nelson - O Magazine )

“Diana Abu-Jaber’s gorgeous novel explores the ways a modern family can break down and be reborn. She writes with a precise, almost poetic distillation of feeling, heightened in contrast to the ripe, exuberant landscape and the unsettled feelings of a family in limbo.” (Amy Driscoll - Miami Herald )

“With Birds of Paradise, Abu-Jaber has made an amazing, gigantic leap into rare air, that hazy stratosphere we jokingly call The Big Time. Her novel is that worthy, and that beautiful.” (Christine Selk - The Oregonian )

“The Muirs’ absorbing story builds to a thoroughly satisfying climax.” (Sue Corbett - People Magazine )