The Language of Baklava: A Memoir

The Language of Baklava A Memoir From the acclaimed author of Crescent called radiant wise and passionate by the Chicago Tribune here is a vibrant humorous memoir of growing up with a gregarious Jordanian father who loved to coo

  • Title: The Language of Baklava: A Memoir
  • Author: Diana Abu-Jaber
  • ISBN: 9780375423048
  • Page: 336
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the acclaimed author of Crescent, called radiant, wise, and passionate by the Chicago Tribune, here is a vibrant, humorous memoir of growing up with a gregarious Jordanian father who loved to cook Diana Abu Jaber weaves the story of her life in upstate New York and in Jordan around vividly remembered meals everything from Lake Ontario shish kabob cookouts with herFrom the acclaimed author of Crescent, called radiant, wise, and passionate by the Chicago Tribune, here is a vibrant, humorous memoir of growing up with a gregarious Jordanian father who loved to cook Diana Abu Jaber weaves the story of her life in upstate New York and in Jordan around vividly remembered meals everything from Lake Ontario shish kabob cookouts with her Arab American cousins to goat stew feasts under a Bedouin tent in the desert These sensuously evoked meals, in turn, illuminate the two cultures of Diana s childhood American and Jordanian and the richness and difficulty of straddling both They also bring her wonderfully eccentric family to life, most memorably her imperious American grandmother and her impractical, hotheaded, displaced immigrant father, who, like many an immigrant before him, cooked to remember the place he came from and to pass that connection on to his children.As she does in her fiction, Diana draws us in with her exquisite insight and compassion, and with her amazing talent for describing food and the myriad pleasures and adventures associated with cooking and eating Each chapter contains mouthwatering recipes for many of the dishes described, from her Middle Eastern grandmother s Mad Genius Knaffea to her American grandmother s Easy Roast Beef, to her aunt Aya s Poetic Baklava The Language of Baklava gives us the chance not only to grow up alongside Diana, but also to share meals with her every step of the way unforgettable feasts that teach her, and us, as much about identity, love, and family as they do about food.

    • Best Read [Diana Abu-Jaber] × The Language of Baklava: A Memoir || [Chick Lit Book] PDF ↠
      336 Diana Abu-Jaber
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      Posted by:Diana Abu-Jaber
      Published :2020-03-16T09:12:09+00:00

    About " Diana Abu-Jaber "

  • Diana Abu-Jaber

    Diana Abu Jaber is the award winning author of Life Without A Recipe, Origin, Crescent, Arabian Jazz, and The Language of Baklava Her writing has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Ms Salon, Vogue, Gourmet, the New York Times, The Nation, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times She divides her time between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Portland, Oregon.


  • It took me forever to read Abu-Jaber's The Language of Baklava: A Memoir simply because I never wanted it to end! I savored each of the stories, reading some of them twice, and tried many of the recipes that she shared. In fact, I loved it so much that after completing the e-book I ordered the hardcover to own. It's truly delightful. I needed to read a "food memoir" for a book challenge and chose this one because I could eat baklava forever and a day. I knew nothing about this book before beginn [...]

  • Rating 4.5I enjoyed this book so much. If you love food, all types of food, then this is the book for you. The author tells the story of her growing up and how much food was a central part of her life. She grew up in both the United States and in Jordan and she tells wonderful stories of each of these times. Her father, Bud, is such a unique character and would be someone you would love to just talk to for hours on end. Food is extremely important to him and his family. The tales of the most bas [...]

  • I finished Diana Abu-Jaber's memoir The Language of Baklava, which I checked out from the library, and I may have to get a copy of this book. It's a wonderfully written memoir filled with memories and food recipes, much of which hailing from Abu-Jaber's Jordanian heritage from her father's side, but some others that are pulled from other places.Much like Kim Sunée's Trail of Crumbs, which is another memoir mixed with recipes, Diana Abu-Jaber's recollections place a major focal point on the food [...]

  • I had mixed feelings about this book. When I first realized it was a book with recipes in each chapter, I thought, oh, no, one of those cooking books that are cutesy and vapid. But, no, it is a well written and delightful memoir of a Jordanian-American family with a high energy, outgoing father who loves to cook. The recipes are not the point of the book but simply seem to emphasize certain lessons in growing up in the author's culture. My favorite part was the year that the family spent in Jord [...]

  • I could not out this book down. It's basically a memoir of eating and living the Arab way, but it will strike a chord with anyone who grew up in a close family. I loved reading about Abu-Jabber's family adapting to the American way. The trips to the city and NJ and thr family time made me think back on the stories I've heard of how it was when my own relatives lived in that area. The recipes are part traditional part American and are allllll very do-able. I found recipes that I want to make and [...]

  • To continue my continuous craving of Middle Eastern food, the memoir of Diana Abu-Jaber reads very similarly to her novels. You can see how family members she really has get woven into her fictional characters later on. Plus, this book has a bunch of recipes that I will hopefully get to try. Now I just have to sit and wait for her to write more novels! If anyone has recommendations for other books about people who live in two worlds (such as being of Arab-American descent) I would love to hear a [...]

  • I love to read. I love to cook. I love to eat good, well prepared food. I love to read about people who cook.But the author apparently isn't a person who cooks, at least not beyond helping grandma or auntie make the occasional pastry. She never does the cooking. It's done for her, or she's invited to a meal cooked by someone else.The recipes are delicious, and a person with some cooking experience should be able to reproduce them--IF you can find the special ingredients. The author glibly stars [...]

  • Abu-Jaber was a dual-culture child: with an American mother and a Jordanian father, she spent most of her childhood in upstate New York but a two-year (relatively brief, but formative) period in Jordan. She portrays her father as a larger-than-life character, eagerly embracing much of what the States had to offer while also hanging steadfastly to certain cultural norms.This is not the sort of book with a tidy start point and end point, or one about a definable thing that happens. Rather, it is a [...]

  • Diana Abu-Jaber is a product of two very different worlds – American and Jordanian – and like her Bedouin ancestors, she’s comfortable moving from place to place. “Home” is a fluid concept held more in her mind and heart than a stationary place. Her childhood is a rich combination of Jordanian foods and flavors and culture which occasionally war against her American ones - or maybe it’s just that she doesn’t always see eye to eye with her Jordanian father. The Abu-Jabers spend a ye [...]

  • I'd never even considered making my own pita bread until I read the seemingly simple recipe in Diana Abu-Jaber's wonderful memoir The Language of Baklava. In beautiful, resonant language, and delicious-sounding recipes (well, maybe not the Velveeta grilled-cheese sandwich one!) Abu-Jaber explores growing up between the culture of her expansive Jordanian father and that of her reserved and calm Irish-German-American mother. I too grew up in a multicultural household (not Arab in my case, but Sout [...]

  • Culinary memoir, eh? Sounds like a winner to me. Actually, so much foodwriting is shamelessly exhibitionist, a shower of sensory description, a contest to see who can worship more lavishly at the alter of the edible. And a lot of memoir is distracted by the need to editorialize on one's journey. So culinary memoir tends to center on The Nostalgically Delicious and Impossibly Meaningful Meal of Yore. This author's story unfolds naturally, her vivid recollections of shared family meals in the US a [...]

  • "Laugh out loud" funny may be a cliche but I started smiling on page 1 and by page 23, I was laughing out loud. It may just be me see for yourself:"I am a hapless kid. My shirts are covered in food. I lose myself searching for four-leaf clovers and get left behind when recess ends. I look up from my hunting to find myself sprawled alone in a cloer field, a sunny sky full of white sailing clouds. I get lost on the way to school. I get lost on the way to the washroom. I get lost on the way home f [...]

  • It's difficult for me to criticize memoirs. I mean, who am I to criticize someone's life recollections? NonethelessI didn't find this book very compelling. Maybe I know too many people who have grown up in multiple cultures and felt identity crisis. Abu-Jaber's life didn't seem that remarkable to me. She was creative in weaving the narrative of food throughout the book. The recipes left me feeling hungry but that was the extent of my inspiration.

  • I learned that just because you have a mixed cultural heritage doesn't mean you have anything interesting to say about it or an interesting way to say something about anything.

  • I did not find this book "vibrant and humorous" like the jacket claimed. I found it sad and depressing. Most of the stories were upsetting and I didn't find the humor in them at all.

  • A memoir about a person split between two cultures--Jordan (her father) and America (her mother), largely revolving around food and how it relates to her, her family, and both cultures.I never get sick of foodie memoirs, and also books (both fiction and non-fiction) about culture clash. The author feels pulled in two directions throughout the book, and lives in both Jordan and the US for periods of time.Food is fundamental. Food is family, entertainment, and culture here. Food is the centerpiece [...]

  • There were so many things I could relate to in The Language of Baklava. Reading Abu-Jaber's story I had a chance to remember my memories that I thought I had forgotten. If you have more than one place that you call "home" you will relate to her story and feel that you are not the only one feeling that way. I am excited to try the recipes from the book. Such a rich and delicious book!"I miss and long for every place, every country, I have ever lived and frequently even the places my friends and m [...]

  • This is a memoir of Diana Abu-Jaber and her father from her childhood into her thirties. Her father was a very outgoing man who immigrated from Jordan and loved to cook. The book meanders through Diana's childhood as she tells stories of her childhood that centered around meals cooked by her father. There relationship could be stormy at times. With each chapter, she includes recipes for the foods that anchor the chapters. The story includes times when Diana lived in upstate New York and when she [...]

  • This is the second book I have read by this author and it was just as good as the first (Arabian Jazz). Her descriptive ability is excelkent. This book was her first of two memoirs, and you really gather a sense of her struggle, and her father's struggle with identifying as "Arab-American". A very talented writer. Next I will read her second memoir, "Life Without A Recipe", which we will discuss in our next Book Club Meeting.

  • I love memoirs about 2 cultures colliding. It's usually the adults who never adjust, the kids do well. And of course the Syracuse connection which is how I found this author. I admire teenager Diane who was not intimidated by her dad but pushed to have an American-style high school life. If you visit Euclid today Diane, it is the gateway to growth unlimited, Syracuse has migrated to Clay, NY.

  • A thoughtful memoir of the author's experience growing up half irish, half jordanian in both upstate New York, and Amman, Jordan. Interwoven with recipes and descriptions of experiences through the food she eats ( or does not eat), I would consider this a food memoir. Prepare to crave middle-eastern foods, and try out her recipes, they are quite good!

  • An entertaining read about food, family, and trying to fit into two worlds. The recipes sometimes didn't quite fit in with the stories to which they were linked, but they were cleverly named and did occasionally make a very poignant statement.

  • This book rings true, particularly in the sections that deal with the writer and her father in America. Her description of her single life in Jordan is less successful and felt a bit strained. The recipes are all very straightforward and even simple, which I found refreshing.

  • I can't seem to get enough of Diana Abu-Jaber's writingis is the third book I've read by her this year. He writing is poetic, musical, funny, and heart-pullingd you'll definitely have a craving for Middle Eastern food! Looking forward to reading more by her.

  • Such a beautifully written memoir of life growing up both/neither American and Jordanian. A love letter to her one of a kind gregarious father.

  • Jordanian culture especially in food aspect through the eyes of a Jordanian woman who was raised by her immigrant family in the US. Very insightful and entertaining.

  • Combines two of my favorite things--autobiographies and cooking. It was a gift from a friend, and I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. A really good read.

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