“Diana Abu-Jaber is an author and a teacher at Portland State University. She was born in Syracuse, New York. Her father was Jordanian and her mother was American, descended from Irish and German roots. At the age of seven she moved with her family for two years to Jordan. She currently divides her time between Miami and Portland and teaches at Portland State University. She often writes about issues of identity and culture.
BA - English and Creative Writing, State University of New York at Oswego
MA - English and Creative Writing, University of Windsor
Ph. D - English and Creative Writing, State University of New York at Binghamton
1990 - Visiting Assistant Professor, English, Iowa State University
1990-1995 - Assistant Professor, English, University of Oregon
1996-present - Writer-in-Residence/Associate Professor, English Department, Portland State University
National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship
PEN/Hemingway Award for First Novelist, Finalist
Oregon Book Award
Story Magazine Short Story Contest, Finalist
Fulbright Research Award, Amman, Jordan
International Writers NEA Fellowship in Fiction
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar
Guest Fiction Editor, Seattle Review
Pushcart Prize Finalist, short fiction
Judge, National Endowment for the Arts Fiction/Nonfiction Fellowship Competition
Named one of the "Top Women Writers 2003" by Vanity Fair magazine
Crescent named one of Twenty Noteworthy Novels of the Year by The Christian Science Monitor
Northwest Distinguished Author Award from Willamette Writers
American Book Award
PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction
Language of Baklava named Booksense Notable Book, April 2005
Northwest Bookseller's Award
"Origin" Top five Booksense Pick
Arabian Jazz (1993)
The Language of Baklava (2005)
She has also authored many short stories, both fiction and nonfiction.
Steven Salaita, "Sand Niggers, Small Shops, and Uncle Sam: Cultural Negotiation in the Fiction of Joseph Geha and Diana Abu-Jaber," Criticism 43.4 (2001) 423-444. Muse.JHU link
Salwa Essayah Chérif, "Arab American Literature: Gendered Memory in Abinader and Abu-Jaber," MELUS 28.4 (Winter 2003), pp. 207-228. Stable URL
Pauline Kaldas, "Beyond Stereotypes: Representational Dilemmas in Arabian Jazz." MELUS 31.4 (2006), 167-186.
Carol Fadda-Conrey, "Arab American Literature in the Ethnic Borderland: Cultural Intersections in Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent." MELUS 31.4 (2006), 187-206.
Robin E. Field, "A Prophet in Her Own Town: An Interview with Diana Abu-Jaber." MELUS 31.4 (2006), 207-225.
Lorraine Mercer, "Counter Narratives: Cooking Up Stories of Love and Loss in Naomi Shihab Nye's Poetry and Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent" MELUS2007 Winter; 32 (4): 33-46.
Andrea Shalal-Esa, "Diana Abu-Jaber: The Only Response to Silencing...Is to Keep Speaking" Aljadid: A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts, 2002 Spring; 8 (39): 4-6.
Andrea Shalal-Esa, "Arab-American Writers Identify with Communities of Color" Aljadid: A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts 2003 Winter-Spring; 9 (42-43): 24-26.
Brinda Mehta, Rituals of Memory in Contemporary Arab Women's Writing Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP; 2007.
Michelle Hartman, "'This Sweet/Sweet Music': Jazz, Sam Cooke, and Reading Arab American Literary Identities" MELUS 2006 Winter; 31 (4): 145-65.”