‘Life without a Recipe’: The Ingredients of a Multicultural Life!

By 
By Lynne Rogers

Life can be sweet or spicy, depending on who is there to share it with you.

Life can be sweet or spicy, depending on who is there to share it with you. In her recent memoir, “Life without a Recipe,” Diana Abu-Jaber explores the intimate relationships in her life and how they were deeply affected by the pressures of two key figures in her life, her German grandmother Grace — who she describes as a lover of all things sugar — and her Arab father, Bud, who she emphasizes is a spice-loving man. Abu-Jaber discovers that it is not only food that divides her life between two cultures. Grace and Bud constantly offer contradictory “advice” to the then-young author that ultimately led to a journey of self-discovery later on in her life. Pressures regarding love and children urge Abu-Jaber into two brief marriages and finally a marriage with the outdoors-loving Scott who she feels fully satisfies her desires and not her father’s or grandmother’s. At the end of the day, Abu-Jaber learns to live life her own way rather than confine herself to the expectations of others. A review of “Life without a Recipe” by Lynne Rogers is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming issue of Al Jadid Magazine, Vol. 20, No. 71, 2016.

(Diana Abu-Jabber, photo © Scott Eason)

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