We asked some of the brightest stars in the Arab-American literary firmament what they think most stands out about Arab-American literature today. Every new strain of literature in this country undergoes familiar periods of marginalization and ghettoization (perhaps self-reinforced), before breaking through into the mainstream. At some point, readers and critics stop thinking of the hyphenated literature from an exoticizing perspective, and instead treat the writing on its own terms. To what extent has this process already happened with Arab-American writing, or is still happening? Who are the writers making the most original contributions, in fiction, poetry, and other genres? Are there circumstances unique to them, in finding acceptance and legitimacy for their work, or is their path to recognition perhaps even aided--in a strange twist of irony--by the very attention presently focused on the Middle East? These writers, with a diverse inheritance of Arab-American culture, share their thoughts, and we hope you will too.
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