9th Ave: Zora O'Neill's All Strangers Are Kin

Monday, July 11, 2016 - 7:30pm

This event will be held at our 9th Ave. store



Travel writer Zora O'Neill will discuss her memoir, All Strangers Are Kin.



Praise for All Strangers Are Kin:


"Part travelogue, part Bildungsroman, part ethnography, this work is as intricate and nuanced as the Arabic language itself. O'Neill masterfully weaves together vignettes, linguistic musings, and a colorful cast of thousands into an always-thoughtful, often hysterically funny paean to a part of the world about which most Americans remain woefully ignorant." –Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
“Zora O'Neill is the perfect travel companion: smart, curious, witty and knowledgeable. In time where the news out of the Middle East is too often grim, she finds warmth and humor. By refusing to tread along the same paths that so many news reporters are confined to, and in so doing, she reveals to us rich new possibilities for understanding--all in a deceptively breezy tone.” – Carla Power, author of National Book Award Finalist If the Oceans Were Ink
“Zora O’Neill is a wonderful writer, a hakawati who can spin a tale with the best of them.” – Rabih Alameddine, bestselling author of The Hakawati and An Unnecessary Woman


About All Strangers Are Kin:


The "shadda" is the key difference between a pigeon ("hamam") and a bathroom ("hammam"). Be careful, our professor advised, in the first moment of outright humor in class, that you don t ask a waiter, Excuse me, where is the pigeon? or, conversely, order a roasted toilet. If you ve ever studied a foreign language, you know what happens when you first truly and clearly communicate with another person. As Zora O Neill recalls, you feel like "a magician." If that foreign language is Arabic, you just might feel like a wizard. They say that Arabic takes seven years to learn and a lifetime to master. O Neill had put in her time. Steeped in grammar tomes and outdated textbooks, she faced an increasing certainty that she was not only failing to master Arabic, but also driving herself crazy. She took a decade-long hiatus, but couldn t shake her fascination with the language or the cultures it had opened up to her. So she decided to jump back in this time with a new approach. Join O Neill for a grand tour through the Middle East. You will laugh with her in Egypt, delight in the stories she passes on from the United Arab Emirates, and find yourself transformed by her experiences in Lebanon and Morocco. She's packed her dictionaries, her unsinkable sense of humor, and her talent for making fast friends of strangers.From quiet, bougainvillea-lined streets to the lively buzz of crowded medinas, from families homes to local hotspots, she brings a part of the world that is thousands of miles away right to your door. A natural storyteller with an eye for the deeply absurd and the deeply human, O Neill explores the indelible links between culture and communication. A powerful testament to the dynamism of language, "All Strangers Are Kin" reminds us that learning another tongue leaves you rich with so much more than words.


All Strangers Are Kin: Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547853185
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Houghton Mifflin - June 14th, 2016

"The shaddais the key difference between a pigeon (hamam) and a bathroom (hammam). Be careful, our professor advised, in the first moment of outright humor in class, that you don't ask a waiter, 'Excuse me, where is the pigeon?' -- or, conversely, order a roasted toilet."

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