• Q&A: Christa Desir

    We are thrilled to welcome Christa Desir, author of Fault Line (Simon Pulse, 2013) to story and chai. I first came to know Christa through twitter, where she speaks with passion and honesty about rape survivor issues, and with knowledge and humor about editing and writing. I read her debut novel in one afternoon, which is maybe a post… Continue Reading

  • Q&A: Ali Hosseini

    Ali Hosseini’s debut novel The Lemon Grove, tells the story of Iranian identical twins Ruzbeh and Behruz,  who fall in love with the same childhood friend, and the geopolitical events tha

  • Q&A: Allan Stratton

    Allan Stratton is the author of BORDERLINE. A young-adult novel about fifteen-year old Sami Sabiri, a funny, gutsy fifteen-year-old stuck at a private school where he’s the only Muslim kid. But things are about to get a lot worse. When Sami catches his father in a lie, he gets suspicious . . . and he’s… Continue Reading

  • Writing Multicultural Characters

    by Medeia Sharif When I first started writing novels in the mid-90s, my early drawer manuscripts had what I’d call mainstream characters. Their names were Julia, Merrill, and Vivian. They had a variety of hair and skin colors, but none of them were anything specific. They weren’t Arabic, Hispanic, or Asian, although they did come… Continue Reading

  • Q&A: Marina Budhos

    Marina Budhos is the author of Ask Me No Questions, a YA novel following the life of  fourteen-year-old Nadira and her family who came years ago from Bangladesh and have been living in New York City on expired visas, hoping to realize their dream of becoming legal U.S. citizens. But after 9/11, everything changes. Suddenly… Continue Reading

  • Q&A: Ibtisam Barakat

    Ibtisam Barakat is the author of Tasting The Sky: A Palestenion Childhood. In her moving and lyrical memoir, Barakat shares with readers her life as a child whose life is completely turned upside down due to war. With candor and courage, she stitches together memories of her childhood: fear and confusion as bombs explode near… Continue Reading

  • Reading The Buddha in the Attic as a Muslim American

    By Jennifer Zobair Although literature tends to move me deeply,  only certain books make me cry. Julie Otsuka’s Buddha in the Attic  was one of those books. Within a matter of pages, I was in love with Otsuka’s gorgeous prose, her precise, sometimes unflinching attention to detail, the unique choice of protagonists–the Japanese “picture brides”… Continue Reading

  • Q&A: Marjan Kamali

    Marjan Kamali is the author of TOGETHER TEA, a gorgeous debut novel that takes us from the United States to Tehran and back again, as an Iranian-American mother  and daughter navigate life and love–including spreadsheet-fueled matchmaking–and their complicated, rich cultural identities. Below, Marjan responds to  Jennifer’s questions about her novel and offers some advice to new writers. *… Continue Reading

  • The New Ms. Marvel And The Shifting Muslim Narrative

    by Aisha Saeed                                                                                                                                                                    It’s hard to imagine a comic book could provoke a firestorm of controversy and world-wide media attention, but in November 2013 when Marvel announced the new Ms. Marvel would be Kamala Khan, a sixteen-year-old Pakistani American teenager from Jersey, this is exactly what happened. As a Pakistani American Muslim, I was both… Continue Reading