Origin is a dramatic change
of course for Abu-Jaber, previously known for her
lightly humorous Arab-American culinary love stories
Arabian Jazz and
Crescent, and for her memoir, The
Language of Baklava. In Origin she takes
leave of her roots to craft a darkly poetic,
literary mystery set in a cold Syracuse winter, with
nary a recipe in sight.
Lena has an extraordinarily heightened sense of smell and a highly developed intuition that allows her to sense things that others miss. Working as a fingerprint expert in the Syracuse crime lab, she is drawn into a mysterious series of crib deaths. At first they are written off as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome); however, Lena senses that something more sinister is at work and, when her...
Diana Abu-Jaber teaches
at Portland State University and
divides her time between
Portland and Miami. She is
currently working on a young
adult novel called
SilverWorld but plans to
write future books about Lena
down the road.
In her own words:
I grew up inside the shape of my father's stories. A Jordanian immigrant, Dad regaled us with tales about himself, his country, and his family that both entertained us and instructed us about the place he'd come from and the way he saw the world. These stories exerted a powerful influence on my imagination, in terms of what I chose to write about, the ...
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