By Diana Abu-Jaber
In Diana Abu-Jaber's "impressive, entertaining" (Chicago Tribune) first novel, a small, poor-white group in upstate long island turns into domestic to the transplanted Jordanian relatives of Matussem Ramoud: his grown daughters, Jemorah and Melvina; his sister Fatima; and her husband, Zaeed. The widower Matuseem loves American jazz, kitschy garden embellishes, and, in fact, his daughters. Fatima is captivated with seeing her nieces married—Jemorah is sort of thirty! Supernurse Melvina is firmly dedicated to her paintings, yet Jemorah is ambivalent approximately her identification and position. Is she Arab? Is she American? should still she marry and, if this is the case, whom? Winner of the Oregon e-book Award and finalist for the nationwide PEN/Hemingway Award, Arabian Jazz is "a pleasure to read.... you'll be tempted to learn passages out loud. and also you should" (Boston Globe). USA Today praises Abu-Jaber's "gift for dialogue...her Arab-American jewelry musically, and hilariously, true."