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Looking for Palestine

Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family

Najla Said


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (8/1/2013)


A frank and entertaining memoir—from the daughter of Edward Said—now in paperback.

The daughter of the famous intellectual and outspoken Palestinian advocate Edward Said and a sophisticated Lebanese mother, Najla Said grew up in New York City, confused and conflicted about her cultural background and identity. Said knew that her parents identified deeply with their homelands, but growing up in a Manhattan world that was defined largely by class and conformity, she felt unsure about who she was supposed to be, and was often in denial of the differences she sensed between her family and those around her. She may have been born a Palestinian Lebanese American, but Said denied her true roots, even to herself—until, ultimately, the psychological toll of her self-hatred began to threaten her health.

As she grew older, she eventually came to see herself, her passions, and her identity more clearly. Today she is a voice for second-generation Arab Americans nationwide.

Riverhead Books, 9781594632754, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

About the Author

Najla Said has performed off Broadway, regionally and internationally, as well as in film and television. In 2010, Said completed a nine-week sold-out off-Broadway run of her solo show, Palestine, which features some of the material in this book. She lives in New York City.