Please join City Books on Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 PM for a discussion with Abeer Y. Hoque and Deesha Philyaw. Admission is FREE.
In her new memoir, Olive Witch, the reader finds Abeer, a Bangladeshi girl growing up in a small sunlit university town in Nigeria where the red clay earth, corporal punishment and running games are facts of life. At thirteen she moves with her family to suburban Pittsburgh and finds herself surrounded by clouded skies and high schoolers who speak in movie quotes and pop culture slang. Finding her place as a young woman in America proves more difficult than she can imagine. Disassociated from her parents and laid low by academic pressure and a spiraling depression, she is committed to a psychiatric ward in Philadelphia. When she moves to Bangladesh on her own, it proves yet another beginning for someone who is only just getting used to being an outsider – wherever she is.
Arresting and beautifully written, with poems and weather conditions framing each chapter, Olive Witch is an intimate memoir about taking the long way home.
“An unflinching yet luminously beautiful take on family, race, sex, and the treachery of memory. Its razor sharp edges can draw blood.” –Sandip Roy, author of Don’t Let Him Know
Abeer Y. Hoque is a Bangladeshi-American writer and photographer. Her first book of fiction, The Lovers and the Leavers, was published by HarperCollins to critical acclaim. She also has a book of travel photographs and poems, The Long Way Home. She lives in New York City. Find her on Twitter @olivewitch and Facebook: authorabeerhoque.
Deesha Philyaw is the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband. Her writing on parenting, race, gender, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Full Grown People, brevity, Dead Housekeeping, The Establishment, Catapult, ESPN’s The Undefeated, and elsewhere. Deesha‘s work includes a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2016. At The Rumpus, Deesha inaugurated and curates an interview column called VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color.