BOOK REACTION: The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit In by Ayser Salman

BOOK REACTION: The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit In by Ayser Salman

“What are you laughing about?” my brother inquired curiously as he passed by me sitting on the couch reading and chuckling to myself.

I put up my index finger in the air to signal him to wait because I could not peel my eyes off the page. I needed to finish reading this last sentence of the chapter titled “Iraqis Take Forever to Say Good-bye.” As it turns out, Bosnians are not the only people who take ages to part with one another where the simple “bye” can be stretched out into half-an-hour-long ordeal.

“I am reading a memoir by Ayser Salman. I got it at the SOKY Book Fest. And it is hilarious,” I explained, in a rush to get back to reading another chapter.

He looked at me like I was crazy. And he proceeded to grab his cup of water and to escape back to his room.  

I was glued to the couch until I completed reading this book. What I loved most about this memoir was how skillfully Ayser wove in humor as she told her story of growing up in the United States as a Muslim Arab American woman.

It is a relatable, yet unique, story of what it means to feel like you are at the wrong end of the table. And it is such a fun, insightful, quick read that I’d recommend to everyone.

It’s stories like this that we need today, during times of divisiveness, to help us recognize humanness in others. Thank you, Ayser.



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