Monday, April 18, 2016

Book Discussion in The Hague

ABC Treehut in The Hague, The Netherlands, in partnership with HBKU Press, is hosting a reading and book signing of Bitter Almonds on April 23rd.






Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book signing Event in Amman, Jordan

I welcome the chance to meet readers in Jordan on Saturday April 16, 2016 at 6 p.m. At TIRAZ center.




Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Anyone Lost A ...?

A strange thing happened to me a month ago. I waited this long to write about it to make sure I’ve absorbed its events well, and not just write out of a knee-jerk reaction.

Early one morning, my next-door neighbor rang my doorbell. I was up before down like most days. I ran to the door in my pajamas, sensing something was wrong, as it wasn’t usual for my neighbor to call that early. Carrying her baby in a car seat in one hand and looking upset, she apologized for bothering me at that hour. I brushed her unnecessary apology aside, rushing to ask what could have bothered my extremely nice and gentle neighbor. She explained that she witnessed from her window something suspicious happen in front of my house at five in the morning while she was taking care of her baby.

A woman, whom she’d never seen in the neighborhood before, walked toward my house looking over her shoulders every few steps. She was carrying a big black trash bag. The woman dumped her load in my garbage container that I usually take out the night before collection day, and she sped off. Naturally, I was very puzzled. The possibilities of why would anyone use someone else’s trashcan went through my head, but I never - never- imagined it could be explained by what I found.

My neighbor wanted to know as well. So she secured her baby in her car parked several feet away, and she stayed rooted there. I’m so glad she had the good presence of mind to do that, for I didn’t consider for an instance that I should not approach the garbage bin. I went inside the house, threw on a night robe, grabbed the biggest oven mitts I have - they reach my elbows, and went back outside. Lifting the lid, I saw the huge black bag sitting on top of my white trash bags - mine are scented, by the way.  I reached in and lifted the heavy bag out of the bin and set it very carefully on the driveway. Common sense tells me I shouldn’t have touched it, but at that moment, I was just too curious, too upset, and too ignorant to back away. Fumbling with the bag's yellow ties, still using my thick and cumbersome oven mitts, and watching my neighbor in the background slowly inch away, I finally peeled the bag open. I was NOT prepared for what I saw: A collection of math books and . . . a prosthetic leg!

            It’s all right. You can laugh if you want. But I tell you, to this day, I still can’t figure out where this leg came from - more precisely - who it came from, and why the woman was compelled to get rid of it in someone else’s trash can. Did she specifically target my trash can? why?

Relieved, my neighbor drove off after I thanked her a zillion times for keeping her eyes on our street. I checked out the math books for a name - nothing, and tucked them with the prosthetic leg back in the black trash bag. I left it on the curb next to my trashcan with a note saying: 
THIS IS NOT MY TRASH!

            When I shared this story with some of my friends, I got various responses on possibilities and scenarios for the source of the leg. And some pointed out I should have called the police first in case it was something dangerous or grave. That possibility never occurred to me, to be frank. But in these terribly trying times, I guess I should have.

            I plan to write a fictional short story for where the leg came from. I welcome suggestions.

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