Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea

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New Directions Publishing, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 221 pages
2 Reviews
An impressionistic memoir by the award-winning Iraqi-American writer, Dunya Mikhail, Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea covers her earliest sensations of childhood to a more complicated grasp of death, beginning with the death of her father to the Gulf War and the subsequent Iraqi War. Mikhail writes: “Death always looks for us. It comes from beyond the continents. It crosses long distances holding a basket of fire in its hand.”

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Review: Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea

User Review  - sal - Goodreads

What a beautiful book. So glad this one was introduced to me because I would not have read it otherwise. I read this book alongside another book of poetry (My Life as a Foreign Country). Very interesting perspectives. Read full review

Review: Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea

User Review  - Isla McKetta - Goodreads

Filled with beautiful language, one of the most instructive aspects of this book is the way the writing changes between Part I (written in Iraq) and Part II (written after Mikhail fled Iraq). Reading this book, I began to face what made me ignore what was happening in Iraq for so long. Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13

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About the author (2009)

Dunya Mikhail was born in Iraq in 1965. While working as a journalist for the Baghdad Observer, she faced increasing threats from the authorities and fled to the United States in the late 1990s. In 2001, she was awarded the UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. Her first poetry book in English, The War Works Hard, was named one of 2005’ twenty-five Books toRemember by the New York Public Library and Diary of A Wave Outside the Sea won the 2010 Arab American Book Award for poetry. Mikhail teaches atOakland University, Michigan.

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