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my name on his tongue
poems

Laila Halaby

Paper $17.95    |    978-0-8156-3294-8    |    2012

"In her debut poetry collection, best-selling novelist Halaby (West of Jordan) narrates the need of any Arab American to navigate new realities while giving voice to old ones. She writes about her inner feelings and daily experiences in a confessional mode reminiscent of works by Louise Glück. Using narrative style as she passionately interweaves insights about peace, war, family, nostalgia, exile, and sociopolitical conflicts among others, Halaby promotes poetry as both testimony and instrument of change: ‘one thousand /one hundred / one / it doesn’t matter the number / they came / and walked / for peace.’ The tireless search for a sense of belonging drums through most of the poems, as the poet tries to reconcile here with there, her new country with the ancestral homeland. She deploys sarcasm and irony to express her bitterness over the trend of cultural demonizing, and her heritage, with its strong narrative of historical grievances, gives the poems a melancholy tone. VERDICT Halaby transfers her life’s experiences into emotionally touching poems. Recommended for all readers, especially those interested in Arab American literature."—Library Journal

"Laila Halaby is a necessary poet. The frank, appealing poems of my name on his tongue illuminate complexities and inequities with resonance and power. A wake-up call of a book."—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

  my name on his tongue

  Laila Halaby is the author of two novels, West of the Jordan (winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award) and Once in a Promised Land. She lives with her family in Tucson, Arizona.

View other series books on Arab American Writing

5 1/2 x 8 1/4, 136 pages

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