Scoundrel Time

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The Aayrouni Olives Always Grow Best

Was it the bomb or the daughter that came first? The vow and a promise to fig trees and ripe lemons, brown pools of sugared dates, my father’s eyes burned with memories of air raids. A ceasefire buried in sumac and...

You have a DNA match!

“Each match holds a different part of your story. Compare aspects like ethnicity, common ancestors, and communities to start assembling your family’s bigger picture.” Overnight in my inbox they arrive stacked like...

I’m Looking for Humans

I want to tell you about my street. It is a one way, winding road lined with Jerusalem sandstone apartment blocks, many old, holding many accumulated stories. On a normal day there is the sound of children playing from...

How to Become American

Watch Friends. Try saying “kʰẽə̃nt” instead of “kɑːnt”.  At dawn, draw a new Rangoli pattern on the threshold of your home in Old Hyderabad. Dry rice flour on damp terracotta tile, it shoots...

Chat GPT Prompt for Great American Novel

I am going to describe the book I want you to write. If at any point in this chain of commands you get stuck, save your output and return to me the sentence in these instructions where you broke the book. I will fix the...