TSR Contributor Massoud Hayoun’s debut memoir

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WHEN WE WERE ARABS wonderfully braids cultural history, memoir, poetics, and politics into a completely unexpected but necessary artistic intervention destined to obliterate our brittle understandings of what is Jewish, Arab, and radically loving. The book is as good as it is important.
— KIESE LAYMON
The very essence of this book is a subversion of what is miserable and a triumph of justice, love, and family. I invite readers to rejoice with me, even if some of the immediate politics in the book are heavy. What’s more, I invite them to undertake the simultaneously sorrowful and celebratory work of decolonizing their concepts of their own ethnicities and manmade places in the world.
— MASSOUD HAYOUN

Summer/Fall 2019 contributor and Frank McCourt Memoir Contest second prize winner, Massoud Hayoun, has a debut memoir out this summer.

In When We Were Arabs, Hayoun brings alive the worlds of his grandparents, vividly shattering our contemporary understanding of what makes an Arab, what makes a Jew, and how we draw the lines over which we do battle. When We Were Arabs seeks to reclaim a worldly, nuanced Arab identity—and to recall a time before ethnic identity was mangled for political ends.

PRE-ORDER
WHEN WE WERE ARABS
A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History
by Massoud Hayoun

Pub. Date: June 25, 2019


Massoud Hayoun’s essay, “Urumqi mon amour,” was published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of TSR and is available to read here.


Emily Gilbert