Notes & Publications
Drawing on themes of loss and self-discovery, Jasmin Attia’s debut novel is a lyrical work showcasing the power of music.
— Ziyad El-Helbawy
Read at Scene Now
Jasmin Attia, author of "The Oud Player of Cairo," recommends Egyptian literature that form a vibrant portrait of the ancient city.
Read at Electric Literature
In my sepia-toned memories, I am four years old, and it’s my first visit to Cairo. We are staying with my aunt in her luxury apartment in the Zamalek neighborhood overlooking the Nile, but I have no appreciation for it. I long for McDonald’s, Sesame Street, and pizza, the kind that is so saucy and cheesy, my mother must wash my clothes after I eat it. I’m afraid of the man’s voice that stretches over the city in the belly of the night.
Read the rest at The Jewish Book Council
Every grape leaf has a smooth side. My mother explains this as we sit at her round breakfast table. She dips her hand into the bowl of washed grape leaves, gently peeling one away from the stack. She gives me a wet leaf to feel so that I can rub my fingers across it. The smooth side goes on the outside. She says this, motioning for me to lay it on the plate, smooth side down.
My mother and two aunts often lamented that in America, they couldn’t get their hands on fresh molokheya leaves. Sure, there was the Middle Eastern grocer who sold frozen packs of the viscous vegetable, but it wasn’t the same. By the time the leaves had been sealed in plastic, frozen, and shipped, their greenness had faded. On a weekly basis, the family gathered at one of the sisters’ houses. And by family, I mean cousins of cousins, their wives, children, and in-laws. For us, it was normal for fifty Egyptians to be gathered under the same roof in one of the calm golfing communities that dot South Florida.
I'm very excited to announce:
Independent publisher Schaffner Press has announced that Jasmin Attia is the winner of the 2022 Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature for her novel, provisionally titled The Oud Player of Old Cairo. The novel will be published by Schaffner Press on August 1, 2023.