Thursday, December 13, 2007

Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber is the author of Crescent, which 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, and Arabian Jazz, which won the 1994 Oregon Book Award and was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

Her most recent novel is Origin.

Luan Gaines interviewed Abu-Jaber for Curled Up With A Good Book. Two exchanges from their Q & A:

Luan Gaines: What was your inspiration for Origin?

Diana Abu-Jaber: I woke up one morning, quite literally, with this woman’s voice in my head. I knew that she was someone without parents and that she believed she had this mystical connection to the animal world. It all grew out of that voice and that myth of origins.

* * *
What would you like readers to take away from Origin?

Probably my first aim is always to entertain, but a close second is that I try to evoke a sense of meaningful connection to and insight into another person’s experience. I love Forster’s dictum to “only connect.” And finally, I also have some thematic strains running through this story about conservation of the earth’s wild places and animals.
Read the full interview.

The Page 99 Test: Origin.

--Marshal Zeringue