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

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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Overview

An Immigrant Love-Hate Story of What it Means to Be American. "A rare voice that is both relatable and unafraid to examine the complexities of her American identity.—Reza Aslan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

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 her comfortable (albeit fascist-regimed) homeland of Iraq and thrust into the cold, alien town of Columbus, Ohio—with its Egg McMuffins, Barbie dolls, and kids playing doctor everywhere you turned?

This is Ayser Salman’s story. First comes Emigration, then Naturalization, and finally Assimilation—trying to fit in among her blonde-haired, blue-eyed counterparts, and always feeling left out. On her journey to Americanhood, Ayser sees more naked butts at pre-kindergarten daycare that she would like, breaks one of her parents’ rules (“Thou shalt not participate as an actor in the school musical where a male cast member rests his head in thy lap”), and other things good Muslim Arab girls are not supposed to do. And, after the 9/11 attacks, she experiences the isolation of being a Muslim in her own country. It takes hours of therapy, fifty-five rounds of electrolysis, and some ill-advised romantic dalliances for Ayser to grow into a modern Arab American woman who embraces her cultural differences.

Part memoir and part how-not-to guide, The Wrong End of the Table is everything you wanted to know about Arabs but were afraid to ask, with chapters such as “Tattoos and Other National Security Risks,” “You Can’t Blame Everything on Your Period; Sometimes You’re Going to Be a Crazy Bitch: and Other Advice from Mom,” and even an open letter to Trump. This is the story of every American outsider on a path to find themselves in a country of beautiful diversity.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510742079
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 739,258
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

PART ONE – THE KIDS’ TABLE
  • The Racism is Coming From Inside the House!
  • “Are They Sucking Dicks Again?” And Other Tales from Day Camp
  • That Brief Moment I was Mrs. Salman Rushdie
  • Land of the Free, Home of the McMuffin
  • Eh-French Eh-Fries
  • Star-Spangled Rodeo
  • Sibling Rivalry, (How to Stop Your Sister From Getting the Western Name)
  • My Trouble with Men
  • Fuck Off, Ian
  • The Saudi Years: Pt. 1 (‘Xanadu,’ A Place Nobody Dared to Go)
  • The Saudi Years: Pt. 2 (‘We Go Together’)
  • ‘Close to You:’ The Saudi Years Continued
  • How To Be a Rock Star
  • ‘Livin’ On a Prayer’: the Saudi Years, Final
  • Then There was the Time I (unknowingly) Became A Lesbian
  • ‘Let it Be:’ The High School Years Continued
  • The Lunch Date
  • If Google Existed in my Teens, I Could’ve had a Better Dating Life
  • Much Making
  • It (sorta) Gets Better After High School
  • I-raq Star


  • PART TWO – TABLE MANNERS
  • California: Finally I’m Home
  • The Weinstein Years: The Best of Times/The Worst of Times
  • A Dark Period
  • #WhenWeSpeakUp
  • An Open Letter to President Trump
  • An Intersectional World (My Random Post-Election Observations)
  • Donald Trump Nearly Cost Me My Best Friend, But Oprah Winfrey Saved Us
  • The World’s Worst Muslim?
  • Hookah Bars Aren’t Doing Arabs Any Favors
  • Iraqis Take Forever to Say Good-Bye
  • Grapes are Eaten One By One
  • Aloha Means “The Sign” in Arabic
  • Christmastime in the Salman House
  • Too Much Hair to Manage
  • My Father, International Man of Mystery


  • PART THREE – GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER?
  • Broken Engagement AKA Muslim Divorce
  • A Bunch of Lines About a Few Guys
  • “You Can’t Blame Everything On Your Period, Sometimes You’re Going to be a Crazy Bitch” And Other Advice from Mom
  • None of My Exes Live in Texas
  • Neurosis is the Mother of all Invention
  • A Conversation with God (Pts. 1&2)
  • Love & the Search for Meaning in the Universe Pt. 1 (The Wrong kind of Saddle)
  • Love & the Search for Meaning in the Universe Pt. 2 (Alex the Cock Block)
  • Love & the Search for Meaning in the Universe Pt. 3 (The Nice Guy in the Haystack)
  • Tattoos and Other National Security Risks
  • The (First) Penultimate chapter (Rebel Without Approval)
  • Moving Over to the Right End of the Table


  • EPILOGUE - It Takes a Village

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