E-mails from Scheherazad by Mohja Kahf
(Contemporary Poetry Series)

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Synopsis

Kahf establishes herself as a new voice in the tradition of ethnic American poets, blending the experiences of recent Arab-American immigrants into contemporary American scenery. In her poems, Muslim ritual and Qur'anic vocabulary move in next door to the idiom of suburban Americana, and the legendary Scheherazad of the Thousand and One Nights shows up in New Jersey, recast as a sophisticated postcolonial feminist. Kahf's carefully crafted poems do not speak only to important issues of ethnicity, gender, and religious diversity in America, but also to universal human themes of family and kinship, friendship, and the search for a place to pray. She chronicles the specific griefs and pleasures of the immigrant and writes an amulet for womanly power in the face of the world's terrors. Her poetic energy is provocative and sassy, punctuated now and then with a darker poem of elegiac sadness or refined rage.
 

About Mohja Kahf

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Mohja Kahf is an associate professor at the University of Arkansas.
 
Published April 30, 2003 by University Press of Florida. 128 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for E-mails from Scheherazad

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A professor of comparative literature at the University of Arkansas, Kahf finds her brand of "mosque-ese" (Urdu, Arabic, Black and Standard English) comes in handy for encounters like "Hijab Scene #7": "No, I'm not bald under the scarf/ ...Yes, I speak English/ Yes, I carry explosives/ They're ca...

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