At the last Manzanita Writers’ Series event, Diana Abu-Jaber read excerpts from her latest book, Origins. ”I never planned to write a mystery,” she confessed. ”I just couldn’t get this character out of my mind.” In her previous works, Ms. Abu-Jaber primarily wrote on the theme of immigration and how the cultures of homeland and newly chosen home can clash. Her protagonists had been of Middle Eastern descent and Origin’s main character, Lena, also struggles with where she came from (in entirely unexpected way–but we won’t spoil it for you.)
Locals agree with the reviews that Abu-Jaber successfully blends a gripping mystery with a style and language that will satisfy the literary fiction reader as well.
Between readings, Abu-Jaber charmed the audience with anecdotes of being a writer and a new parent. ”I had this idea that I’d be holding my baby on my lap, while typing along on my next chapter.” Parents and grandparents in the audience had a good laugh about that. She also cited some of the benefits of living in two places–Miami and Portland. ”I find the Northwest in winter is the perfect place to write.” We couldn’t agree more.