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Let’s Talk About It: “Once in a Promised Land” by Laila Halaby

November 8, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Book four in the series “Violence and Belonging: The 14th Amendment and American Literature.” Discussion facilitated by Reza Jalali, a scholar from USM.

Laila Halaby’s second novel concerns the relationship of Jassim and Salwa Haddad, a childless Jordanian couple in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Setting the novel in Tucson, Halaby, who is herself Jordanian and grew up in Arizona, examines the nation’s post-9/11 mood from the perspective of ordinary Arab-Americans living thousands of miles away from the sites of the attacks and the communities immediately affected. Through this portrait of wholly assimilated immigrants who no longer feel welcome in their chosen country, we glimpse how the spectacular violence of terrorist attacks on the other side of the country becomes, much closer to home, a rallying cry for a paranoid and xenophobic brand of patriotism.


November 8, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm