From the acclaimed author of Crescent, called â€śradiant, wise, and passionateâ€ť 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 Dianaâ€™s childhoodâ€“American and Jordanianâ€“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 grandmotherâ€™s Mad Genius Knaffea to her American grandmotherâ€™s Easy Roast Beef, to her aunt Ayaâ€™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 wayâ€“unforgettable feasts that teach her, and us, as much about iden-tity, love, and family as they do about food.
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