Did you miss a reading of Love, InshAllah when we came to your hometown? Don’t fret, our dear friend Omar Mendoza put together this short video of selected readings from our event at LA’s fabulous bookstore, Book Soup. Enjoy!
The 2nd phase of our Love Tour has begun! With editor Nura’s recent move to Chicago, we’re kicking off a series of book events in the Midwest.
Our first stop — The Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. We were invited by Wayne State graduate student Sumaya Haji-Jama who, along with fellow organizer Fadumo Abdi, put together a fabulous reading at Seva Detroit, a local, delicious vegetarian restaurant.
We were thrilled to be joined by a such an energetic and engaged audience that included TLC’s All-American Muslim star Suehaila Amen, writer Zarinah El-Amin Naeem, and Nura’s new grandmother-in-law and mother-in-law!
More pictures of the event are available here. To organize a reading in your area, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Up next on the Midwest Love Tour (after Ramadan): St. Louis!
Nura is back in San Francisco for two weeks and we’ve been having a glorious Bay Area and NorCal book tour, including readings in SF, Menlo Park, Milpitas, Mill Valley (at Throckmorton Theater with author Jane Ganahl) and waaaay up north near the Oregon border in Arcata, CA.
Why Arcata? Nine years ago Nura met not only her hot personal trainer Rohan (whom she writes about in Love InshAllah) during her year in Sri Lanka as a Fulbright scholar, but also the wonderful Hughes family. Her fellow Scholar, Rees Hughes, had brought his wife and daughters with him to SL and they all became good friends. Fast forward to 2012, and Rees and his wife Amy told Arcata’s Humboldt State University (HSU) staff about our book and they invited us up to speak.
The community was extremely excited about the reading (the local paper ran both a book review & feature article, as did the school paper – here, here & here). We set out bright & early in a rented yellow Chevy Aveo for a 5-hour roadtrip north through misty coastal redwood forests and stunning NorCal vistas to HSU.
We worried that the rain might keep people away but the library’s Fishbowl room was packed to the gills with over 120 people. After we did our readings, we had a lively Q&A session (which will be available for viewing in HSU’s digital scholar program), and learned that the book will be taught this fall in their wonderful Critical Gender program! We received insightful questions from local book clubs that had selected Love InshAllah and queries about Islam.
The Hughes family put on a delicious dinner for us that evening with the organizers of the event. This morning before setting off for home we had brunch overlooking stunning Trinidad Beach. With its gorgeous green beauty, and vibrant, artsy & foodie community, we are seriously considering relocating to Humboldt County!
Also check out our host Rees’ lovely book – The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, an anthology of writing on the fabled California/Oregon trail.
Nura & I were joined by four of our fabulous writers – Asiila Imani, Nijla Mu’min, Tanzila Ahmed & Zahra Noorbakhsh – in LA for a reading at Book Soup on Saturday.
Another standing room only crowd with the surprise twist of running into the wonderful comedians Whoopi Goldberg and Amy Poehler amidst the bookshelves!
Quintessential LA glam
Part of the Book Soup audience
Love InshAllah writers (L to R): Zahra Noorbakhsh, Tanzila Ahmed, Nijla Mu’min, Nura Maznavi, Ayesha Mattu, & Asiila Imani
More photos from the event, here!
Nura & Nijla were also interviewed by Larry Mantle on KPCC AirTalk this morning. Listen to the radio show now: Losing & Finding Love, American Muslim Style.
LA wraps up the first part of our national book tour. Thank you all for your amazing support & love! We hope to swing by the Midwest & South soon too. Let us know if you’d like to have us visit YOU!
We’re wrapping up our East Coast swing — today was our last full day in DC. Tomorrow we head back to California and will be ending our official book tour this weekend in Los Angeles at the Book Soup.
We’ve been amazed and inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the crowds at our readings. It’s been wonderful connecting with readers across the country and hearing YOUR stories.