Dajani, Nadine 1978-
Dajani, Nadine 1978-
Born 1978, in Lebanon.
Home—Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Novelist and travel writer. Formerly worked in the fashion industry, and as an accountant in the Cayman Islands.
Fashionably Late, Forge (New York, NY), 2007.
Nadine Dajani's first novel, Fashionably Late, tells the story of good-girl Aline Hallaby, an Arab Canadian working in Montreal who finally sees her life turning out right. Her boyfriend has just proposed, she's got a good job as an accountant with a prestigious firm, and her family is supportive of the way her life is moving. There's just one teensy problem: she failed her accounting exams, and when her bosses find out, she can say good-bye to the great job in Montreal. Ali reacts to this crisis in an atypical way for a good Muslim Lebanese girl. She tells no one (not her classmates, not her family, not her boyfriend), seizes two of her best friends, and runs away with them—as far from her successful life as she can get—to a beach resort in Cuba. There she encounters rich alcoholic drinks, sexy Cuban scuba instructors, and (inevitably) a crisis of self: should she live the strict Muslim life that is expected of her, or the colorful life that is now being revealed, thanks to her impulsive decisions? "Wild times and emotional experiences," stated Debbie R. Sims in her review published on the Romantic Times Online, "show Ali that she has to live life as she chooses." "Fashionably Late," concluded Andrea Y. Griffith in Library Journal, "could be the perfect beach read."
In some ways, Ali reflects the background and the lifestyle of her creator. Like the protagonist of Fashionably Late, Dajani comes from a Lebanese family and was at one time an accountant. In addition, the author also describes herself as highly individualistic. "I've always had kooky, eclectic and widely ranging tastes," Dajani wrote on her blog Confessions of a Newbie Novelist. "I'm not someone you can easily box into a category, and while that sounds like a desirable, highly evolved trait to have, it can be quite annoying most of the time. Because our society is built on categories. White. Black. Brown. Anglophone. Francophone. Allophone. Brainy. Ditzy. Alternative. Mainstream…. At various points in my life, I've been slotted into every one of those categories listed above (except maybe ‘black’)—relative to who I was talking to." "In the Middle East," she explained, "I'm white. In North America (particularly in her airports—thank you, Miami Homeland Security! I love you too!), I'm brown. In Quebec I'm technically an allophone but effectively an anglo, and in the rest of Canada I'm a Francophone."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, May 15, 2007, Andrea Y. Griffith, review of Fashionably Late, p. 78.
Confessions of a Newbie Novelist,http://newbienovelist.blogspot.com (March 20, 2008), author profile.
Fantastic Fiction,http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ (March 25, 2008), review of Fashionably Late.
Nadine Dajani Web blog,http://www.blogger.com/ (March 25, 2008), author profile.
Romantic Times Online,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (March 25, 2008), Debbie R. Sims, review of Fashionably Late.