Episode 254 — Randa Jarrar

   
photo-1

Randa Jarrar is the guest. Her debut novel, A Map of Home, is now available from Penguin.

Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, raves

Jarrar’s sparkling debut about an audacious Muslim girl growing up in Kuwait, Egypt and Texas is intimate, perceptive and very, very funny. Nidali Ammar is born in Boston to a Greek-Egyptian mother and a Palestinian father, and moves to Kuwait at a very young age, staying there until she’s 13, when Iraq invades. A younger brother is born in Kuwait, rounding out a family of complex citizenships. During the occupation, the family flees to Alexandria in a wacky caravan, bribing soldiers along the way with whiskey and silk ties. But they don’t stay long in Egypt, and after the war, Nidali’s father finds work in Texas. At first, Nidali is disappointed to learn that feeling rootless doesn’t make her an outsider in the States, and soon it turns out the precocious and endearing Arab chick isn’t very different from other American girls, a reality that only her father may find difficult to accept. Jarrar explores familiar adolescent ground—stifling parental expectations, precarious friendships, sensuality and first love—but her exhilarating voice and flawless timing make this a standout.

Monologue topics: being in a rush, technology, my brain, teaching my daughter about music, Freddy Mercury, Billy Idol.

This podcast has its own app, available (free!) for the iPhone, iPod, or iPad, and is also available (free!) for Android devices.

To learn more about the app and how to get access to premium content, please click right here.

Also: You can subscribe to the show over at iTunes, or at Stitcher, free of charge.

 

***Like the podcast? Please take a moment to rate and review it on iTunes. Thank you!