Pauline Kaldas

Pauline Kaldas
Roanoke, Virginia

Recent works: Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction (co-editor), 2004; poems and stories in journals and anthologies including The Poetry of Arab Women, 2001; Cultural Activisms, 1999; Post-Gibran Anthology of New Arab American Writing, 1999; The Space between Our Footsteps, 1998; Food for Our Grandmothers, 1994

Favorite Writers: Marcia Douglas, Jhumpa Lahiri, Salwa Bakr, Irena Klepfisz.

Quote: For me the writing comes first and the subject matter comes second. In a sense, by virtue of my immigrant experience, I was handed my subject matter. Where the challenge is for me is in the writing. Arab–American literature is an expression of the world and of experience through the eyes of someone for whom Arab–American identity is a primary lens. It is similar to other ethnic literatures in the sense that cultural identity is at the center of the writing. As a young writer, I felt enormously isolated in terms of the subjects I wrote about, all of which related to the experience of being Arab–American. Now I feel privileged to be able to watch and participate in the growth of Arab–American literature.

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