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About the Book
Hadha Baladuna ("this is our country") is the first work of creative nonfiction in the field of Arab American literature that focuses entirely on the Arab diaspora in Metro Detroit, an area with the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the US. Narratives move from a young Lebanese man in the early 1920s peddling his wares along country roads to an aspiring Iraqi-Lebanese poet who turns to the music of Tupac Shakur for inspiration. The anthology then pivots to experiences growing up Arab American in Detroit and Dearborn, capturing the cultural vibrancy of urban neighborhoods and dramatizing the complexity of what it means to be Arab, particularly from the vantage point of biracial writers. Included in these works is a fearless account of domestic and sexual abuse and a story of a woman who comes to terms with her queer identity in a community that is not entirely accepting. The anthology concludes with explorations of political activism dating back to the 1960s and Dearborn's shifting demographic landscape.
Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging contains stories of immigration and exile by following newcomers' attempts to assimilate into American society. Editors Ghassan Zeineddine, Nabeel Abraham, and Sally Howell have assembled a cast of emerging and established writers from a wide array of communities, including cultural heritages originating from Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Yemen. The strong pattern in Arab Detroit today is to oppose marginalization through avid participation in almost every form of American identity-making. This engaged stance is not a byproduct of culture, but a new way of thinking about the US in relation to one's homeland.
About Michigan Notable Books
Every year, the Library of Michigan selects up to twenty of the most notable books, either written by a Michigan resident or about Michigan or the Great Lakes. The selected books are honored in the year after their publication or copyright date. Each selected title speaks to our state's rich cultural, historical, and literary heritage and proves without a doubt that some of the greatest stories are found in the Great Lakes State.
Michigan is rich in good writers and the Library of Michigan is proud to honor and celebrate this wonderful literary heritage each year with the Night for Notables and with the annual grant-funded authors' tour to libraries throughout the state.
Michigan Notable Books is a program of the Library of Michigan, an agency of the Michigan Department of Education.