Friday, January 22, 2016

BITTER ALMONDS Novel In Norway

I'm pleased to announce that the Norwegian translation of Bitter Almonds published by Chapelen Damm Publishers is now on the shelves in Norway.



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

BITTER ALMONDS US Release

BITTER ALMONDS is out today in the U.S.! I'm very excited! For those of you in Texas, join me at a book signing on the 23rd of January. More information here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1714191258815805/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAtortQnD9K/

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Made It To Bustle's Best 13 YA Books List

Bustle.com listed Bitter Almonds in their January 2016's 13 best YA books to read when the snow inevitably falls:

"...[L]ilas Taha's moving story Bitter Almonds finally makes its way to the U.S., and it couldn't be at a more appropriate time. The story chronicles the lives of Palestinian exiles in Damascus looking back to 1948 Jerusalem and extending over two decades. In particular, Taha tells us about Omar and Nadia, a Palestinian orphan and a young refugee in Damascus, respectively. And because Taha grew up in Kuwait to a Syrian mother and a Palestinian father, exile is part of her own history and she keenly understands the tragedy, sadness,and pieces of hope that come along with it."

Bitter Almonds on the shelves in the US January 19, 2016.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Signing Event on Jan 23rd, 2016

I will be discussing and signing my new novel BITTER ALMONDS on Saturday, January 23, 2 p. m. at HPB, Sugar land. Hardback copies will be available for purchase starting January 19 as specially-priced new items while supplies last.  Share / RSVP to this event on Facebook


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye quote about BITTER ALMONDS

Lilas Taha's great gift in BITTER ALMONDS is to create characters and scenes so richly resonant with life and vitality, that the complicated, lush world of the Middle East feels as tangible and close as any world you are living in. Crucial in our strange days?  Perhaps more than anything.”

Naomi Shihab Nye, author of HABIBI

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dear Bretha Von Suttner: Wake up!

Today, I made it to the Peace Palace in The Hague, The Netherlands. Though the building itself is impressive, the mission behind it is vital, I found myself in turmoil once I learned about its major founder: Bertha Von Suttner, mother of the peace movement and the first woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905.

The Czech-Austrian pacifist and novelist spent her life advocating for the construction of the Peace Palace and the establishment of the International Court of Justice for the settlement of conflicts threatening peace. The palace opened in 1913 with most world leaders attending on the premise that justice leads to peace, and peace leads to justice.

Bertha died of cancer in June 1914, just few weeks before World War I broke out. She witnessed the build up to World War I and continued to advise against international armament to the last breath. I just can't get past thinking how she must have felt seeing all her dreams, efforts, and life's work literally go up in flames, worldwide

If Bretha, the author of Lay Down Your Arms, somehow comes back to life and travels to the future - our present - what would she say?
How would she feel?
Could she hurt more?
Would she hope less?
Would she forsake her dreams?
Would she call our tremulous state World War III?
Would she write another pacifist novel?
And more importantly, would we read it?


Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Toddler And The Sea

So I’m two years-old and, because I’m special, I was given a miracle: I can tell you my thoughts. I don’t know where I’m from, or where I am now, or where I’m going. I can only tell you what I’ve experienced so far.

Are you ready?
Here we go:

I’ve filled my stomach on my mother’s milk when I was smaller. It was warm and plenty.
I’ve slept on my father’s shoulder when I was too tired to walk. It was comfortable and wide.
I’ve smelled my grandmother’s breath when she kissed me every morning. It was fruity and sweet.
I’ve bounced on my grandfather’s lap when he tried to stop my crying. It was soft and a bit awkward.
I’ve popped soap bubbles my older brother blew in my face when we bathed. It was fun and magical.
I’ve kicked a football around and didn’t fall on my face for the first time. It was very satisfying.
I’ve danced with my cousins to derbakkeh drums and oud strings. I liked their music.

I’ve heard noises coming from the sky. They sounded like thunder, but were not followed by rain, only ash and cement chunks. It was too loud.
I’ve hidden in a closet to wait for the man with the heavy boots and shiny long rifle to leave our house. It was scary.
I’ve crawled under metal wire with sharp spikes. They hurt when my skin caught on them.
I’ve felt the sun burn too close, too hot. The only moisture came from my mother’s eyes.
I’ve seen my uncle lay very still in the street, a circle of red paint spread around his head.

I’ve bobbed up and down on a boat. I was sick. I only saw water.
I’ve slipped through my father’s hands. I didn’t float.
I’ve heard him cry. His voice went hoarse.
I’ve swallowed water. It was too salty.
I’ve breathed sand through my nose.
I’ve been cold, very cold.

I’ve arrived.