Biography

Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber’s new culinary memoir, LIFE WITHOUT A RECIPE, has been described as “a book of love, death, and cake.” Ruth Reichl calls it “bold and luscious” and “indispensable to anyone trying to forge their own truer path.”

Diana was born in Syracuse, New York to an American mother and a Jordanian father. Her family moved to Jordan a few times throughout her childhood, and elements of both her American and Jordanian experiences, as well as cross-cultural issues, especially culinary reflections, appear in her work.

Her most recent novel, BIRDS OF PARADISE, won the 2012 Arab-American National Book Award. It was also named one of the top books of the year by National Public Radio, the Washington Post and the Oregonian.

Her novel, ORIGIN, was named one of the best books of the year by the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. Her second novel, CRESCENT, won the PEN Center Award for Literary fiction and the American Book Award. Her first novel, ARABIAN JAZZ, won the Oregon Book award for Literary Fiction and was a finalist for the PEN Hemingway Award.

THE LANGUAGE OF BAKLAVA, her first memoir, won the Northwest Booksellers’ Award, and has been translated into many languages.

Diana teaches writing and literature at Portland State University and divides her time between South Florida and Portland, Oregon.

Diana Abu-Jaber

Books by Diana Abu-Jaber

by Diana Abu-Jaber - Nonfiction

On one side, there is Grace: prize-winning author Diana Abu-Jaber’s tough, independent sugar-fiend of a German grandmother, wielding a suitcase full of holiday cookies. On the other, Bud: a flamboyant, spice-obsessed Arab father, full of passionate argument. The two could not agree on anything: not about food, work, or especially about what Diana should do with her life. Grace warned her away from children. Bud wanted her married above all --- even if he had to provide the ring. Caught between cultures and lavished with contradictory “advice” from both sides of her family, Diana spent years learning how to ignore others’ well-intentioned prescriptions.

by Diana Abu-Jaber - Fiction

A girl who ran away from home five years previously must reckon with the guilty secret that drove her away, and must face her fear of losing her family and her sense of self forever.