Hi folks! Here is where I’ll post and update event dates related to my new novel “Correspondents.” Thanks to all for the support so far. The book was named a Best Book of May 2019 by Amazon and just got a great first post-publication review from The National, the largest English-language paper in the Middle East. So far, event-wise, we have:
Monday June 3, 7pm, book launch at McNally-Jackson in Williamsburg (76 N. 4th) in conversation with my friend, Iraqi-American entrepreneur Yasir Dhannoon of the amazing refugee charity The Syria Fund.
Saturday June 8, 5pm at The Golden Notebook in my favorite charming little upstate hippie hamlet of Woodstock, NY.
Wednesday Jul 10, 6:30pm at Shadi’s Middle Eastern restaurant in (my hometown!) North Andover, MA. This is a ticketed event in conjunction with Andover Bookstore (the nation’s oldest, in fact) in which, for $60, you get a signed copy of the book and a three-course Lebanese feast. But there are only 29 seats available and about half so far I think are taken.
Thurs July 11, 7pm at the awesome indie bookstore Papercuts in Jamaica Plain, Boston. There doesn’t seem to be a link for the event yet but the date is confirmed.
Fri July 12, 7pm at East End Books in Provincetown, MA. This is so nice because Friday night is open-gallery (and mucho free wine and cheese) art-walk night in Ptown’s East End, so you can do just that after the reading.
A good website updater I am not! I admit that these days I mostly post stuff on my Twitter or Instagram. But, especially for those who read and hopefully liked my novel CHRISTODORA, I did want to say here that my new novel CORRESPONDENTS will be out from Grove Atlantic on May 14, 2019. This novel grew out of two impulses: one, my desire to write a novel based on my Boston-area Lebanese-Irish roots and, two, my morbid obsession with the devastation the U.S. caused in Iraq in the wake of its 2003 invasion. The challenge with this book was figuring out how to braid those two things. Please read the book and let me know if I did it! I’m very proud that Kirkus Reviews has already given the book a “starred” pre-publication review calling it “finely tuned,” “propulsive” and “engrossing”–just what I was aiming for!–and “a surprisingly moving war novel alert to global violence and politics but thriving on the character level.” If your interest is piqued, you can support independent bookstores by pre-ordering the book from Indie Bound. And if you do read and like it and you’re on social media, please post about it and help spread the word! Drop me a line on Twitter or Insta and let me know what you think! Even better, if you think you can pull together at least a dozen folks at your favorite local bookstore, let me know and I’ll try to come!
Upon the Vanity Fair cover debut of the stunning Caitlyn Jenner, I had the chance (for Yahoo Style) to explain why I felt that, though achieving perfect traditional “womanliness” is great if that’s what you want and you have the resources, it’s not the true definition of what being transgender means…and that it’s wrong for us non-trans people to think less of transfolks if they don’t meet our rigid traditional ideas of what looks like a “man” or a “woman.” Gender’s between your ears, not your legs–and it’s not about how much surgery you can afford!
On the eve of the third season of Netflix’s runaway women’s-prison hit Orange is the New Black, I had a great talk with Natasha Lyonne on how she’s put down heroin and picked up SoulCycle, how she can count on her bestie Chloe Sevigny for anything (even forgotten keys!) and why she thinks OITNB fans have a special time-compression machine that allows them to watch 13 hours of episodes in about three hours! She’s salty, funny, wise and authentic–love her!
With the Supreme Court’s marriage decision looming, I spent a week in LGBT bars throughout Indiana in May for The Nation magazine to find out just how widespread discrimination against gay and trans people there actually was. The answer? Very. And Indiana is one of 29 states with no protection laws for LGBT people–nor is there a federal law. Here’s a look at plans to conquer the final frontier of LGBT rights in the U.S.
Demonstrators gather at Monument Circle to protest a controversial religious freedom bill recently signed by Governor Mike Pence during a rally in Indianapolis March 28, 2015. More than 2,000 people gathered at the Indiana State Capital Saturday to protest Indiana?s newly signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act saying it would promote discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation. REUTERS/Nate Chute – RTR4VA8L
In Spring 2014, I had the great pleasure of traveling to Vienna for Condé Nast Traveler. There I found, amid orderly classical buildings and gardens, an exciting new surge of contemporary art and design, all in an unhurried atmosphere brimming with stately cafés and rich with the ghosts of modernism. Have a look at the wonderful new world of art I found tucked away in this oh, so stately capital.
When the actress Rose McGowan said recently that gay men could be more misogynist than straight men, I had to weigh in–because I think she’s (often, not always) right! Gay men may identify with women in many ways and may know their own form of cultural oppression, but they’re still men in many ways–and the time-honored gay ritual of doing drag can often be as much a put-down of women as an homage to them.