My Name is on His Tongue

My Name is on His Tongue

by Laila Halaby

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
In her debut poetry collection, best-selling novelist Halaby (West of the Jordan) narrates the need of Arab Americans to navigate new realities while giving voice to old ones. She writes about her personal feelings and daily experiences in a confessional mode reminiscent of works by Louise Glück. Using a narrative style as she passionately interweaves insights about peace, war, family, nostalgia, exile, and sociopolitical conflicts, among other subjects, Halaby promotes poetry as both testimony and instrument of change: "one thousand/ one hundred/ one/ it doesn't matter the number/ they came/ and walked/ for peace." The tireless search for a sense of belonging drums through most of the poems as Halaby tries to reconcile here with there, her new country with her ancestral homeland. She deploys sarcasm and irony to express her bitterness over the trend of cultural demonizing, and her heritage, with its strong narrative of historical grievances, gives the collection a melancholy tone. VERDICT Halaby transforms her life experiences into emotionally touching poems. Recommended for all readers, especially those interested in Arab American literature.—Sadiq Alkoriji, South Regional Lib., Broward Cty., FL

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Syracuse University Press
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5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

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