Thursday, March 7, 2019

Ayser Salman has a seat at our table...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Femi Corazon
We're pleased to introduce you to Ayser Salman. Her memoir, The Wrong End of the Table, published this week. We enjoyed learning more about her and hope she will make you laugh and smile, as we sure did! Thanks to Get Red PR, we have one copy for a lucky reader!

Ayser Salman was born in Iraq before it became a curiosity, and moved to America as a toddler. She is a writer and producer and editor for companies like Universal Pictures, Miramax Films, Disney, The Weinstein Company, and FX. Ayser lives in Los Angeles, California.

Visit Ayser online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram


Synopsis:
You know that feeling of being at the wrong end of the table? Like you’re at a party but all the good stuff is happening out of earshot (#FOMO)? That’s life—especially for an immigrant.

What happens when a shy, awkward Arab girl with a weird name and an unfortunate propensity toward facial hair is uprooted from her comfortable (albeit fascist-regimed) homeland of Iraq and thrust into the cold, alien town of Columbus, Ohio—with its Egg McMuffins, Barbie dolls, and kids playing doctor everywhere you turned?

This is Ayser Salman’s story. First comes Emigration, then Naturalization, and finally Assimilation—trying to fit in among her blonde-haired, blue-eyed counterparts, and always feeling left out. On her journey to Americanhood, Ayser sees more naked butts at pre-kindergarten daycare that she would like, breaks one of her parents’ rules (“Thou shalt not participate as an actor in the school musical where a male cast member rests his head in thy lap”), and other things good Muslim Arab girls are not supposed to do. And, after the 9/11 attacks, she experiences the isolation of being a Muslim in her own country. It takes hours of therapy, fifty-five rounds of electrolysis, and some ill-advised romantic dalliances for Ayser to grow into a modern Arab American woman who embraces her cultural differences.

Part memoir and part how-not-to guide, The Wrong End of the Table is everything you wanted to know about Arabs but were afraid to ask, with chapters such as “Tattoos and Other National Security Risks,” “You Can’t Blame Everything on Your Period; Sometimes You’re Going to Be a Crazy Bitch: and Other Advice from Mom,” etc. This is the story of every American outsider on a path to find themselves in a country of beautiful diversity.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)


What were the most rewarding and challenging aspects of writing The Wrong End of the Table?
Most challenging but ultimately rewarding was the fact that I was writing as myself whereas previously I’d written fiction or ‘hidden’ behind characters in screenplays. Suddenly it was Ayser, speaking as ‘Ayser’ -which was quite scary in how exposing it seemed. But there was a simplicity in the fact that all I had to do was be open and authentic and tell my stories. It was incredibly freeing. And that’s when the writing flowed.

What memoirs inspired you to write your own?
My Family and other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

If The Wrong End of the Table were made into a movie, who would you want to play your part?
Benedict Cumberbatch, obviously. He really disappears into a role.

What is a memorable experience for you from working at the production studios?
As a producer/editor I’ve had the opportunity to work on so many fantastic projects, doing behind-the scenes docu-shorts and other content. The two experiences I’m most proud of are the ‘making-of’ vignettes for the musical numbers in Chicago when I was at Miramax; and more recently FX’s Pose, creating short docu-pieces following the real lives of the cast & crew.

What is something that made you laugh really hard recently?
I’ve been listening to the audio book of Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, as well as repeatedly watching both of his stand-up specials. His bit on why Idris Elba should not play James Bond kills me every time.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I can’t believe I’m admitting this but - Chicken pot pie - and it needn’t be the gourmet kind. Those frozen ones you get in a two-for-one deal at Target which are loaded with preservatives.... But keeping true to my heritage I also love plain basmati rice with salt.

Thanks to Ayser for chatting with us and to Get Red PR for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway ends March 12th at midnight EST.




16 comments:

Janine said...

I always feel I don't fit in

Lori Frazier said...

This book sounds delightful!

traveler said...

I have experienced not fitting in all of my life. When I was young and when I am old as now. It has followed me throughout my entire life. At parties, dinners, lunches and school.

Nancy said...

I sometimes feel I don't fit in when I am at a party where I know very few people.

Mary C said...

When I started school. I was the only Asian student in my class.

Dianne Casey said...

I feel like I don't fit in when I'm in a situation where I don't know many people.

jean602 said...

Sometimes if I don't know many people I feel that way.

Mary Preston said...

I sometimes feel like I don't fit in at parties. I am no good at small talk.

Grandma Cootie said...

When my husband was assigned to an Air Force Base in Spain in the late 1970's. Try as we might to fit in it was of course obvious that we were Americans.

Anonymous said...

BrendaS said Most of my life I've felt this way

Unknown said...

I often feel like this, even amongst my own friends. At times I can really own it, but at other times it makes me feel so uncomfortable. I would love to be able to be happy bring myself all the time.

bn100 said...

not sure

StoreyBookLover said...

Some Mommy circles are hard to fit into!

Sherry said...

Always....then I realize I belong ad much as anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes at work!

Kelley B said...

Sometimes at work!