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Randa Jarrar
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    (1978- )
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Wrote the novel ‘A Map of Home’ (2008) and the short story collection ‘Him, Me, Muhammad Ali’ (2016)
    Teaches creative writing at California State University at Fresno
    After the death of Barbara Bush, she called the late First Lady an ‘amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal.’
    She responded to criticism by declaring ‘I’m happy the witch is dead.’
    She posted a phone number on her Twitter account with the comment ‘If you really wanna reach me, here’s my number ok’; the number she gave out actually belonged to a suicide crisis hotline at Arizona State University that wound up overwhelmed by a deluge of calls.
    She responded to calls for her termination by boasting that she can ‘never be fired’ because she has tenure.
    She later tried playing the victim card, claiming ‘I am not the only person who has stated the belief that Barbara Bush was a racist. But women of color routinely have their tone policed, their justified anger painted as hatred, and their criticism of injustice framed as racism toward white people.’
    She grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, returning the US in her teens after the first Gulf War (1991).
    The American Library Association called ‘A Map of Home’ ‘a first novel of extraordinary brilliance.’
    She said about teaching, ‘My favorite days are when I leave the classroom inspired by [my students], by something new they’ve taught me.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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