Susan Muaddi Darraj

Susan Muaddi Darraj is the author of The Inheritance of Exile, which was a finalist in the AWP Book Awards Series and named ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year (Short Fiction). She is a fiction editor for Barrelhouse Magazine and co-founder of the annual Conversations & Connections Conference: Practical Advice on Getting Published. Her new book, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named winner of the AWP Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction and the American Book Award, and shortlisted for the Palestine Book Award. She is a two-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. 

Books and Lesson Plans

  • A Curious Land

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    Susan Muaddi Darraj’s short story collection about the inhabitants of a Palestinian West Bank village, Tel al-Hilou, spans generations and continents to explore ideas of memory, belonging, connection, and, ultimately, the deepest and richest meaning of home. A Curious Land gives voice to the experiences of Palestinians in the last century. 

    Appropriate for grades 9 and up.

    Lesson plans for A Curious Land are currently in development.

  • The Inheritance of Exile: Stories from South Philly

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    In The Inheritance of Exile, Susan Muaddi Darraj expertly weaves a tapestry of the events and struggles in the lives of four Arab-American women. Hanan, Nadia, Reema, and Aliyah search for a meaningful sense of home, caught in the cultural gap that exists between the Middle East and the United States.
     
    Daughters of Palestinian immigrants who have settled into the diverse southern section of Philadelphia, the four friends live among Vietnamese, Italians, Irish, and other ethnic groups. Each struggles to reconcile her Arab identity with her American one. Muaddi Darraj adds the perspectives of the girls’ mothers, presented in separate stories, which illuminate the often troubled relationship between first and second generations of immigrants. Her suite of finely detailed portraits of arresting characters, told in evocative, vivid language, is sure to intrigue those seeking enjoyment and insight.
     

    Appropriate for grades 9 and up.

    Lesson plans for The Inheritance of Exile: Stories from South Philly are currently in development.

Highlighted Resources and Authors