How to pronounce Diana Abu-Jaber: AH-boo JAH-ber
Diana Abu-Jaber is the author of several novels, including Arabian Jazz, Crescent, and Birds of Paradise. Crescent was awarded the 2004 PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction and the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award and was named one of the twenty best novels of 2003 by The Christian Science Monitor. Arabian Jazz won the 1994 Oregon Book Award and was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award.
She is also the author of a memoir, The Language of Baklava, and Origin (2007) the first in a new mystery series staring Lena, a highly gifted, intuitive fingerprint expert.
She teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland and Miami.
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Diana Abu-Jaber discusses her true identity with Origin
This interview, with Angela Miyuki Mackintosh was first published at
As writers, we've all heard the saying 'Write what you know', and many of us take it to heart. But how about writing what you don't know? Where do you start? Certainly, it would require a lot of research, creativity, and fortitude.
Those of you familiar with Diana Abu-Jaber's work know that her novels focus on Arab-American culture, delicious recipes, and culinary love stories. Yet in her latest novel, Origin, Diana delves into the literary mystery genre and writes about 'what she doesn't know'.
Origin is a gripping, spellbinding thriller, and a breakthrough novel for Diana in every sense. Lena, a fingerprint expert, is thrust into a mystery when a woman breaks into the crime lab building where she works and begs her to solve the case of her baby's death. As the crib deaths multiply and become classified as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), she discovers connections, clues to the case, and most of all to her past, embarking on an enlightening and terrifying journey.
If you ever wondered how to write 'what you don't know' or are ...
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