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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Arab American Literature: Essays

This LibGuide highlights the works of Arab American authors.


This portion focuses on essays written by Arab American writers.









Authors & Works

Carol Fadda

Carol W.N. Fadda grew up in Beirut, Lebanon where she earned her B.A. and M.A. from the American University of Beirut. She graduated from Purdue University in 2006 with a Ph.D. in contemporary American Literature. Her research interests in Arab and Muslim American Studies, American Studies, and critical race and ethnic studies.

Essay Works: 

"Living in a Country That Does Not Know Us"

"Arab, Asian, and Muslim Feminist Dissent: Responding to the 'Global War on Terror' in Relational Frameworks"

Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States, and she is the author of four novels.

Essay Works: 

"Why Vote?"

"Walled Off"

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father was a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent, and Nye spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. She earned her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio. Nye is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her work.

Essay Works: 

Never in a Hurry: Essays on People and Places

Lauren Alwan

Lauren Alwan was born in New York City and raised in Southern California. She received a BFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MFA in painting from San Francisco State University. In 2008, she completed the program in fiction at The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Essay Works:

Kind of Blue: Oakland 1995

A Hunger for Downton Abbey

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