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The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit in

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  15 reviews
An Immigrant Love-Hate Story of What it Means to Be American

You know that feeling of being at the wrong end of the table? Like you’re at a party but all the good stuff is happening out of earshot (#FOMO)? That’s life—especially for an immigrant.

What happens when a shy, awkward Arab girl with a weird name and an unfortunate propensity toward facial hair is uprooted from h
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Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by Skyhorse
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  29 ratings  ·  15 reviews


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Jessica
I picked this up off of Edelweiss because I'm making a conscious effort to read books by authors with a broader range of backgrounds. In that regard, this was an excellent memoir about a woman whose family immigrated from Iran to Kentucky to Saudi Arabia, then back to the US. Ayser Salman's story could not be more different than my own.

But, honestly, the bulk of this book didn't really do that much for me. Some of the stories made me giggle a little and a handful helped me see things from a dif
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Carrie
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The following review is my personal opinion and in thanks to Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing for an advance readers’ ebook.

I laughed my way through this charming book of an Iraqi woman and her experience growing up in America. I suppose I can relate being quite shy and insecure of myself growing up, but also knowing what it’s like living abroad. I had a good friend from a Turkish Muslim family and remember similar sentiments from them also. I won’t think of McDonald’s or money the same way.

Th
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Amina Ibrahim
“At the wrong end of the table” is an exaggerating written, a humorous memoir of an Iraqi-Muslim, Ayser Salman. She recounts her life from when she was three and her family immigrated to America to escape the Saddam Hussain’s regime.
The author was lucky as she escaped and had good opportunities, but she was always at the wrong end of the table, hence the title. Ayser wanted to be like other kids, a normal American, maybe one of the cool kids too. But she was always the weird lesbian girl (which
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Kelly
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Probably should have held out for the audiobook...

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss. Trigger warning for xenophobia, Islamophobia, and violence against women.)

Ayser Salman spent the first three years of her life in Baghdad, Iraq - until her parents, both pharmacists, fled the "dictatorial regime of what was about to become Saddam Hussein’s Iraq" for the frigid climes of Columbus, Ohio. This would be the first of many moves: Along with her younger brother Zaid
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Rita
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, review, asia
MY FULL REVIEW IS SCHEDULED TO GO UP ON FEB 23 ON MY BLOG (https://bookishr.wordpress.com)

💫 Hilarious (and insightful) voice — especially for a memoir!
I know some memoirs can be a little dull, but I've had so much luck with the ones I've picked up over the last year or so. And, luckily, this memoir was one of the best I have read in a long, long time.

The way Ayser retells events from her childhood, in particular, is phenomenal. Having been bullied for her race and culture cannot have been easy,
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Mahin
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ayser Salman has found herself at the wrong end of the table for years, having straddled many - and seemingly disparate - identities. Born in Iraq, Ayser moved to the US at the age of three along with her family who sought to escape Iraq’s fascist and authoritarian regime. Ayser and her siblings grew up in Lexington, Kentucky; a town with few Arabs and foreigners at the time. In her memoir, Ayser recounts the challenges of growing up in a homogenous American town as the child of immigrants. Her ...more
Andrea
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Upon reading the title I thought I was going to be reading an actual graphic novel comic [think Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi]. The word 'comic' threw me, they mean comic as comedic elements in the story, not comic book in this case.

As someone who has frequented comic conventions, and reads graphic novels (in addition to regular novels) that's usually where my mind jumps when I see the words "comic memoir" together. You can imagine
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Kelsey (Kelseylovesbooks)
Memoirs are a favorite genre for me, especially when they exist outside of my normal realm, and yet find ways to be relatable. It reminds me that while we all have different life experiences, we are still connected through common human experiences.

Ayser was born in Iraq, then lived in Ohio and Kentucky, then moved to Saudi Arabia, then back to Kentucky, and finally found her home in Los Angeles. She discusses the challenges of melding her Arabic traditions with her newfound American culture, and
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Athena Rupas
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
A funny charming not to be missed book! It's informative about the life of an Iraqi/Muslim-American immigrant and her experiences. Ayser Salman recounts her life from the time her family immigrated from Iran to Kentucky to Saudi Arabia, then back to the US to escape from the regime of Saddam Hussain. Ayser wanted to be like normal American kids but she was always the weird lesbian girl, which she isn't a lesbian. She was called all sorts of names but you'll need to read the book to understand th ...more
Joy Clark
It's wonderful to see increased diversity in the humor memoir genre, which seems to be overpopulated by white men (and women). Salman immigrated from Iraq at the age of three, with a few intervening years spend in Saudi Arabia, and provides a inside look at the difficulty of acculturation - the question of how one becomes part of a new culture while maintaining the old. The book is billed as being comic, but I think it's strength is in the non-comedic moments, the times when Salman shines a ligh ...more
Moira
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review (publication date: 3/5/2019). It’s not often you come across a memoir that’s both entertaining but also educational. Reading this was like having an extended chat with a friend, covering every subject under the sun. My only issue was the number of footnotes and how much additional information was found there.
Mama K
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book! I requested this as an ARC because I was attracted to the humor it promised (and it delivered!), and because i wanted to learn more about the author's culture. I really really want to sit with a cup of tea and chat with Salman!
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Nathaniel Darkish
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun, charming read that was informative about one Muslim-American immigrant experience. I generally quite enjoyed it.
Kayo
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Funny and not to be missed!

Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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Leyla Johnson
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoy this book as it bought back memories of my childhood (as a displaced migrant after WW2 to another country, with no English and eggplant sandwiches for lunch a school)
I love the little footnotes at the end of each chapter, although it did call for a some flipping backwards and forward in some places. And I found the first two thirds of the book interesting in the experiences especial the years in Saudi.
The last part of the book was a little harder to get through, as it got kind of
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Ayser Salman was born in Iraq before it became a curiosity, and moved to America as a toddler. She is a writer and producer and editor for companies like Universal Pictures, Miramax Films, Disney, The Weinstein Company, and FX. Ayser lives in Los Angeles, California.