Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle
April is Arab American Heritage Month, and it is important for us to honor the contributions of Arab Americans whose work has contributed to the diversity and richness of our nation. Because we are book people, we’ve decided to put together a book list as a starting point to help us celebrate. From thought-provoking and eye-opening novels, nonfiction books, and even a cookbook, there are books written by Arab American authors that provide cultural insight and powerful commentary on what it means to be an Arab American today. So here are some thought-provoking and inspiring books honoring National Arab American Heritage Month!
Arab American Heritage Month Books to Read
Arabiyya : Recipes from the Life of an Arab in Diaspora by Reem Assil
A collection of 100 bright, bold recipes influenced by the vibrant flavors and convivial culture of the Arab world, filled with moving personal essays on food, family, and identity mixed with a pinch of California cool, from chef and activist Reem Assil.
The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah
Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school. As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories and into a profound exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.
The Tale of Princess Fatima, Warrior Woman : The Arabic Epic of Dhat al-Himma Edited by Melanie Magidow
Published in English for the first time, and the only Arabic epic named for a woman, The Tale of Princess Fatima recounts the thrilling adventures of a legendary medieval warrior universally known throughout the Middle East and long overdue to join world literature’s pantheon of female heroes.
The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous, Translated by Elisabeth Jaquette
**Finalist for the 2018 International Prize for Arabic Fiction** A timely and haunting novel that is a boundary-blurring, radical examination of the effects of oppression on one’s sense of identity, the effects of collective trauma, and a moving window into life inside Assad’s Syria.
Conditional Citizens : On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami
The acclaimed, award-winning novelist—author of The Moor’s Account and The Other Americans—now gives us a bracingly personal work of nonfiction that is concerned with the experiences of “conditional citizens.”
What do you think about this list of books for Arab American Heritage Month?
Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? What books on the Arab or Arab American experience would you add to this list? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
- Looking to diversify your reading life? Check out How To Read More Diversely Consistently