For Immediate Release
Date: September 11, 2019
With immigration issues leading the headlines, author shares insights seldom considered on Muslim life in America
Author Benedicte Grima in her new novel, Talk Till the Minutes Run Out – An Immigrant’s Tale at 7-Eleven, gives readers not only a thoughtful, engaging read, but new insight on what it’s like to be a Muslim immigrant living in the United States.
Aging and homesick, Nur Ali is working at a local 7-Eleven and seeking asylum. Though exiled from his Pakistan, homeland and inaccurately labeled as a Taliban sympathizer by the US government, he’s determined to keep his position as family patriarch. So Nur Ali leads and provides for his beloved family clan back in Pakistan while living half a world away.
This book, while a novel, provides readers with seldom considered perspectives on the struggles many living in our midst face. Using prepaid phone cards and a landline in the inner-city 7-Eleven where he works as night shift manager, Nur Ali manages food, gifts, marriages, births, and deaths, all the events that glue a family together.
Author Benedicte Grima has deep roots in both US and Middle East culture. She grew up internationally, studied four Middle Eastern languages, became proficient in Farsi and Pashto, and conducted over 20 years of fieldwork throughout Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan – some as a Fulbright scholar - as well as among refugees and exiles from there in the US as a language and culture interpreter.
She has authored her research in The Performance of Emotion Among Paxtun Women (1992), and Secrets From the Field (2004). This historical and ethnographic novel is created from her in-depth knowledge of and personal experience with people from Swat, Pakistan.
For a review copy of the book or to schedule Grima for an interview, contact: email@example.com
“This bittersweet story of hardscrabble migration and exile in the west simultaneously tracks
“Grima, one of America’s few Pukhtun scholars and an extremely keen observer of Pukhtun culture, both in its homeland and in the diaspora, follows an ordinary Pukhtun family as it survives in its native area, beleaguered by Taliban and the Pakistani military, and as some of its members seek fortunes but not assimilation in places as far as America. Their story ends with their cultural identity intact but their aspirations defeated in many ways by the modern post 9/11 world.”
“Novelist Benedicte Grima has taken an under-represented world she knows well from her own work over several decades as folklorist and ethnographer and offered up the reader a rare and stunning glimpse of those islands of immigrants who survive abroad while not assimilating to their foreign surroundings. Seen through the eyes of the well-meaning, bumbling, unprepared and deeply culturally entrenched family patriarch…this is an important story for our times and should be read by anyone who wants to understand more deeply what it means to belong in our vastly interconnected world.”