#TPQ5

#TPQ5: HALA ALYAN

Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies was one of the most profound books I read as an adolescent. Her writing is a brilliant example of combining spare language with precise imagery.

Suheir Hammad

A high school teacher gave me Suheir Hammad’s “First Writing Since” when I was fourteen and it was exactly what I needed as a fledgling writer: a map, a blueprint of how to be both Palestinian and American.

Alice Munro

Because she is the queen of the short story. Every time I read one of her collections, I’m reminded of the entire universe that can be contained in a short story.

Natalie Diaz

Absolutely one of my favorite poets, with her inventive format and stunning imagery. I’ve reread her book at least ten times, each time finding something new to love. She’s one of the most inspiring poets of place, in my opinion, along with Solmaz Sharif and Ada Limón.

Sabrina & Corina: Stories – Kali Fajardo-Anstine

This story collection is the most recent addition: I just finished it a few days ago and it has been on my mind ever since. These stories are gorgeous, haunting accounts of the lives of women in the American Southwest.


Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American writer and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Guernica and elsewhere. Her poetry collections have won the Arab American Book Award and the Crab Orchard Series. Her debut novel, SALT HOUSES, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017, and was the winner of the Arab American Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her newest poetry collection, THE TWENTY-NINTH YEAR, was recently published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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