Diana Abu-Jaber

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Diana Abu-Jaber (Arabic: ديانا أبو جابر) is an American author and a professor at Portland State University. She was born in Syracuse, New York. Her father was Jordanian and her mother was American, descended from Irish and German roots. At the age of seven she moved with her family for two years to Jordan. She currently divides her time between Miami and Portland and teaches at Portland State University. She often writes about issues of identity and culture.


Academic appointments[edit]



  • Arabian Jazz (1993)
  • Crescent (2003)
  • Origin (2007)
  • Birds Of Paradise (2011)
  • The Language of Baklava (2005)
  • Life Without a Recipe (2016)


She has also authored many short stories, both fiction and nonfiction.

Critical studies[edit]

  • Ibis Gómez-Vega, "The Memory of Loss in Diana Abu-Jaber's Arabian Jazz." South Atlantic Review 72.3 (2007): 17-37.
  • Steven Salaita, "Sand Niggers, Small Shops, and Uncle Sam: Cultural Negotiation in the Fiction of Joseph Geha and Diana Abu-Jaber," Criticism 43.4 (2001) 423-444. Muse.JHU link
  • Salwa Essayah Chérif, "Arab American Literature: Gendered Memory in Abinader and Abu-Jaber," MELUS 28.4 (Winter 2003), pp. 207–228. Stable URL
  • El-Hajj, Hind, and Sirène Harb. "Straddling the Personal and the Political: Gendered Memory in Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz." MELUS 36.3 (Fall 2011): 137-58. (Peer reviewed)
  • Pauline Kaldas, "Beyond Stereotypes: Representational Dilemmas in Arabian Jazz." MELUS 31.4 (2006), 167-186.
  • Carol Fadda-Conrey, "Arab American Literature in the Ethnic Borderland: Cultural Intersections in Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent." MELUS 31.4 (2006), 187-206.
  • Robin E. Field, "A Prophet in Her Own Town: An Interview with Diana Abu-Jaber." MELUS 31.4 (2006), 207-225.
  • Lorraine Mercer, "Counter Narratives: Cooking Up Stories of Love and Loss in Naomi Shihab Nye's Poetry and Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent" MELUS2007 Winter; 32 (4): 33-46.
  • Andrea Shalal-Esa, "Diana Abu-Jaber: The Only Response to Silencing...Is to Keep Speaking" Aljadid: A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts, 2002 Spring; 8 (39): 4-6.
  • Andrea Shalal-Esa, "Arab-American Writers Identify with Communities of Color" Aljadid: A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts 2003 Winter-Spring; 9 (42-43): 24-26.
  • Brinda Mehta, Rituals of Memory in Contemporary Arab Women's Writing Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP; 2007.
  • Michelle Hartman, "'This Sweet/Sweet Music': Jazz, Sam Cooke, and Reading Arab American Literary Identities" MELUS 2006 Winter; 31 (4): 145-65.
  • Mazen Naous, "Arabian Jazz and the Need for Improvising Arab Identity in the US." MELUS 34.4 (2009): 61-80.
  • Sabiha Sorgun, "Space and Identity in Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz," presented at The Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media, 2009. DeKalb, IL.
  • Al Joulan, Nayef. "Content is in the Character: Critique of Arab and American Cultures in Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz," Interactions, Turkey, vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 19-30.
  • Al Joulan, Nayef. "Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz: Arab American Feminism and Literature," Mosaic, vol. 43, no. 4 (2010), Canada.
  • Al Joulan, Nayef. "Diana Abu-Jaber’s Arabian Jazz: The Orphic Vision of Arab American Identity and Literature," Neophilologus, vol. 94: 637–652 (2010), Netherlands.
  • Cariello, Marta. "Bodies Across: Ahdaf Soueif, Fadia Faqir, Diana Abu-Jaber", in Layla al-Maleh, Arab Voices in Diaspora: Critical Perspectives on Arab Anglophone Literature, Amsterda: Rodopi, 2009.

External links[edit]