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Monday, June 12, 2017

Yet, Home by Irene Noor

Enthralling Fiction Novel Examines How Specific Choices Can
Redirect the Future
Author Irene Noor presents a gripping story about life decisions and what it means to be a stranger in a place that will ultimately be home


WORTHINGTON, Ohio – Author Irene Noor has released her debut novel, “Yet, Home,” a compelling fiction that tells the story of two generations: Tayib, a recently retired Egyptian man, and daughters Layla and Dalia, one of whose stories takes place in Cairo, while the parallel life of the other is lived out in Australia.

While Tayib is a university student, a seemingly small incident one morning puts him on a path to marry a woman named Aida and eventually emigrate to Australia and have their daughter Dalia. However, if the small incident had not occurred, Tayib would finish his studies in architecture, marry a woman named Yasmine, and continue to live in Cairo where they would have their daughter Layla. In both stories, his daughter, like Tayib, is questioning the path she has chosen.

The story examines the emigration experience for Egyptians living in a new country and what it means to be a stranger in a new place, and how, if ever, it becomes home. Through Dalia, Layla, and their mothers, the story also highlights the decisions women face when balancing a family and career, what sacrifices they are willing to make, and to what end.

“Yet, Home” is two parallel stories and switches between the two versions of Tayib’s life as his family’s story takes the reader from Cairo and Australia to London and even Portugal in search of answers.

About the author
Irene Noor is a global nomad who has lived primarily in the United States since high school. Noor was inspired by her own life journey and by other emigration stories to write “Yet, Home.” This is her debut novel and she is currently working on her second book, a historical fiction.  Noor enjoys traveling with her family and resides in Worthington, Ohio with her husband and three children.

To learn more about Irene Noor and her writing, please visit 


Interview
Welcome to my blog Irene.  Please tell my readers more about yourself and your book.

Q:
Tell us about your latest worktitle, genre, etc. — and why you wrote it?
A:
My book is titled “Yet, Home,” and it’s literary fiction. I wrote it because I wanted to explore why people leave what is familiar and how they create a sense of home in a strange place. It’s something that people have done all over the world and for centuries, so I think readers will find it a compelling question, as I have.
Q:
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A:
As a reader, good literary fiction is the best. It’s the whole package: well-crafted writing, captivating plot, thought-provoking themes and multi-faceted characters. So that’s what I aim for in my writing as well.
Q:
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A:
With “Yet, Home,” it was definitely a creative process. I started writing the book not knowing how it would end or what would happen. With my second book, a historical fiction, I have an outline of dates and events, by virtue of it being based on historical events, and I’m filling in the unknowns.
Q:
What kind of research was involved?
A:
For “Yet, Home,” I drew heavily on the experiences of 1st generation immigrants I know (including my own experiences) and on what I have studied about culture and its effect on how each of us sees the world. I was an anthropology major, so exploring the question of culture is something I’ve done for…well, more years than I care to count.
Q:
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A:
None of the main characters are based on me or any other real person I know, but some of the thoughts and experiences Dalia and Layla have had are ones I identify with.
Q:
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A:
It’s tough, and I have no magic bullet. I’m the type of person who’s always had multiple commitments going on at any given time. I was fortunate with “Yet, Home,” in that I had a small window of time when my kids were in school and I wasn’t working, so I was able to work on the book for several hours a day and get it finished in a relatively short period (less than 18 months). Nowadays, with part-time work and a young child, it’s not so easy. On a daily basis, successful balance happens for me when I can set realistic goals for what takes priority for the day and stay focused on that. I think the key is to acknowledge that there is simply not enough time for all the things in the world you love and would like to give time to.  So I’ve had to accept that there are some things I will never do, and some things I can’t do now, but perhaps will in a later season of life.
Q:
Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A:
Of the contemporary authors, I think I’d have to say Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Patchett, and Jhumpa Lahiri are among my absolute favorites, and I aspire to some day write half as well as they do. Other excellent authors whose books I will read without hesitation: John Irving, Geraldine Brooks, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Paula McLain. I also love the classics: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Victor Hugo.
Q:
Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A:
I wrote this book while our family was staying in Australia. We had temporarily suspended our “regular” lives in Ohio, and the experience allowed me to imagine these characters and their lives in a way I don’t think would have been possible, or at least as easy, surrounded by the familiarity of home.
Q:
What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A:
I’m currently working on a historical fiction, based on a shipwreck that happened off the coast of southern Australia at the end of the 19th century. Researching for it has been fun (newspapers 120 years ago were written far differently!).
Q:
Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A:
Keeping an active presence online, via a blog or social media, is important. Book giveaways seem to work well also.
Q:
What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A:
Write without worrying about how well received your book will be. Write your hardest, do you best work, and make it something you are proud of. If it resonates with others, that’s great. But if not, you have something you won’t regret having done.
Again, thanks Irene for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.

“Yet, Home”
By Irene Noor
ISBN: 978-1-365-52241-3
Available at Amazon and the Lulu Bookstore


For Review Copies & General Inquiries Contact:
LAVIDGE – Phoenix
Lauren Dickerson
480-998-2600