The writers included here are descendants of multiple cultural heritages and reflect the perspectives of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds: Egyptian, Iranian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, Libyan, Palestinian, Syrian. They are from diverse socioeconomic classes and spiritual sensibilities: Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and atheist, among others. Yet they coexist in this volume as simply American voices. Atefat-Peckham gathered poetry and prose from sixteen accomplished writers whose works concern a variety of themes: from the familial cross-cultural misunderstandings and conflicts in the works of Iranian American writers Nahid Rachlin and Roger Sedarat to the mysticism of Khaled Mattawa's poems; from the superstitions that govern characters in Diana Abu-Jaber's prose to the devastating homesickness in Pauline Kaldas's characters. Filled with emotion and keen observations, this collection showcases these writers` vital contributions to contemporary American literature.
Susan Atefat-Peckham (1970-2004) was assistant professor of English, speech, and journalism at Georgia College and State University, USA. She wrote That Kind of Sleep and Black Eyed Bird, and her poems have appeared in several journals.