Books on the MENA/SWANA Experience

By tiny driver

By tiny driver

The Complete Persepolis: Volumes 1 and 2

Marjane Satrapi

$25.95 $23.87

A contemporary classic, this graphic memoir takes us through Satrapi's childhood as she lives through the 1979 Iranian Revolution and her subsequent migration to France.

The Other Americans

Laila Lalami

$16.00 $14.72

A beautifully written story from a linguist turned writer. FROM THE BOOKFLAP: "From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Moor's Account, here is a timely and powerful novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant--at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture."


Négar Djavadi

$18.00 $16.56

Translated from the French, Djavadi's novel has been receiving praise and international acclaim, and for good reason. FROM THE BOOKFLAP: "Kimiâ Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twenty-five, with a new life and the prospect of a child, Kimiâ is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which reach her in unstoppable, uncontainable waves. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them."

Exit West

Mohsin Hamid

$17.00 $15.64

Even after reading this book many years ago, it still haunts me. Written in the style of a fairytale, it follows Nadia and Saeed as they navigate through their country's civil war and its reverberations.


Saleem Haddad


FROM THE BOOKFLAP: "Set over the course of twenty-four hours, Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval."

Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America

Laila Lalami

$25.95 $23.87

A highly anticipated essay collection from a vividly clear writer. FROM THE BOOKFLAP: "What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth--such as national origin, race, and gender--that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still their shadows today."

Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity

Porochista Khakpour

$16.00 $14.72

Khakpour's work on growing up as an Iranian refugee in the United States was one of the most anticipated essay collections of 2020. A collection of her previous writing for other venues, this work shows just how expansively we need to think about what it means to be Iranian American.

This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror

Moustafa Bayoumi

$22.00 $20.24

Each essay that is part of Bayoumi's collection beautifully speaks to what it means to be brown in a post-9/11 US. Whether it's as an extra on the new Sex and the City movie or as a naturalized citizen getting his papers together, Bayoumi's multi-dimensional work speaks to issues that continue to plague our society today.

My Part of Her

Javad Djavahery

$17.98 $16.54

Emma Ramadan's beautiful translation of Djavahery's work from the French language. Emma is also the co-owner of Riff Raff, one of my favorite bookstores located in Providence, RI! FROM THE BOOKFLAP: "In exiled Iranian author Javad Djavahery’s captivating English debut, a youthful betrayal during a summer on the Caspian sea has far-reaching consequences for a group of friends as their lives are irrevocably altered by the Revolution."

Look: Poems

$16.00 $14.72

Sharif's book of poetry is a rumination on the long War on Terror, showing us how language is one of the most powerful forces of violence in our present era.

Calling a Wolf a Wolf

Kaveh Akbar

$16.95 $15.59

Kaveh Akbar's book of poetry brings about raw and visceral emotions, as he takes us through a confessional reflection on his own path through addiction and recovery.

Salaam. Peace: An Anthology of Middle Eastern-American Drama

$19.95 $18.35

This anthology of plays contains one of my favorite plays on the Middle Eastern American experience, called Browntown. The play entirely takes place in a Hollywood casting office and focuses on the question of racial stereotyping and Middle Eastern representation post-9/11.

Disgraced: A Play

Ayad Akhtar

$16.99 $15.63

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in drama, this play is an incredible exploration of identity and displacement in a post-9/11 context. FROM THE BOOKFLAP: "The story of Amir Kapoor, a successful Pakistani-American lawyer who is rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his cultural roots. When Amir and his wife Emily, a white artist influenced by Islamic imagery, host a dinner party, what starts out as a friendly conversation escalates into something far more damaging."