Jessica's Reviews > The Language of Baklava: A Memoir

The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber
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Feb 04, 09

bookshelves: food, memoir
Read in January, 2009

Several years ago, I read two novels by Diana Abu-Jaber: Arabian Jazz and Crescent. I really enjoyed both books and found them unique from other novels that were out at the time since they focused on the Arab-American experience. Both books were big hits in the book clubs that I read them in. My friend Amanda still cites Crescent as one of her all-time favorite book club books. In her memoir, The Language of Baklava, Abu-Jaber share her memories of food and family and growing up between cultures. Abu-Jaber’s father is from Jordan and her mother grew up in America and is of western European stock.

I found the book really interesting from a personal perspective since I am an American of European descent and my husband is from Pakistan. We are definitely a food-centric household. Many of our memories are built around food and we both love to cook. Our future children may face multiple culture clashes… food-related, tradition-related and definitely religion-related.

Abu-Jaber’s memoir was funny and insightful as to what it felt like to grow up in such an environment. Her observations about the influence on members of both sides of her family on her life were humourous and heart-felt.

There are recipes interspersed throughout the chapters. These recipes are related to the memories relayed in the chapter. Some of the recipes are for Jordanian food and others for more American fare.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy foodie memoirs or coming of age memoirs.


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Reading Progress

01/31/2009 page 75
22.87%
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