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May 13, 2008

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>Do you think Terry Gross will put me on Fresh Air with a >story like that?

I think she might if you were on a book tour, like 99% of "Fresh Air" guests.

Have you ever considered writing a biography of your dad that would be of general appeal because it considered wider questions raised by his life?

I would very much read that memoir of yours. I think others would too.

(I think you could even call it "My Dad, the Arab Feminist" -- that's a great title -- though I think the book would be about MORE than just your dad -- maybe "Dove's Eye View" with the "my Dad" part as a section...)

And I DO think that it could get a book deal. Your story would be perceived as a unique story, it's timely, it's important, and not only do you have the story to tell, you have the chops to write it beautifully. (And his tabbouli is making me hungry.)

One of you I can say no to, but two of my most literary readers? Alison of the Ph.D. in Physics, with the high-octane reading group, and Ericka the coolest writer Mama around? (and teacher and writing coach).

OK, Ok, I will think about this one. Never occurred to me.

You have already written at length and beautifully about your Dad. To create the memoir that Ericka refers to, you would need to organize the material so that you theme emerges from the bits in a natural way. I don't pretend that this would be easy, but you're passionate about the topic and have lots of great anecdotes to include.

Make that three, Leila. Not that I'm literary or anything.

Yep, me, too.
Go for it!
(I'm so pleased to see a comment from Jonathan Edelstein! If HE's reading your blog you can be sure you'r cut from the right fabric.)

Go for it Leila! Someone needs to tell the story!

Leila,

The first thing I noticed in the picture (after your parents of course) was that big glorious bowl of teboulleh, followed by that immaculate bowl of olives. YUM! (Points substracted unfortunately for the store-bought hummus :)

I, too, heard the Fresh Air segment with Deborah Kanafani. I wasn't able to catch it in its entirety (I was in the middle of working) but thought the title of her book was pretty pretentious since I don't think she was required to wear a veil.

Anyway, speaking of, here's a funny (short) video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsW0faMq1i4

I look forward to reading your book, and hearing your subsequent interview on Fresh Air.

I agree with the other commenters. A biography or other nonfiction memoir around this topic could be excellent. I really related to what you wrote because my husband is Lebanese and progressive this way, and so is his father. Politely challenging people's assumptions about my husband's family and our relationship gets kind of lonely, and I would love to have your book as support and backup.

Thank you everybody...

Abraham, I noticed the store-bought hummus, too. That party was five days after my father got the news that he had lung cancer and it was really bad. The fact that he wanted to make me tabbouli under the circumstances just blew me away. In fact I'd been planning to go out to dinner, but my mother said my dad insisted that I must eat with them and he would make tabbouli. Mom bought the hummus. Dire circumstances.

I don't do store-bought, so I know where you're coming from. And my father didn't either. But he died 7 weeks later... God rest his soul.

Hi Leila.

I was mostly joking about the hummus :)

Your dad seems like he was a terrific guy. My mysogynistic Syrian dad could've learned a few things from him, but my mom manages to keep him in his place for the most part ;)

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