Thanks for visiting my webpage.
If you’re here, chances are you’re interested in children’s or adult literature, you’re concerned about how you might refine your own prose, or you’re curious to know who’s the weirdo who wrote that article?
I have an odd, mishmash assortment of interests, which I usually combine together when I write. I have a PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies, and I spent the better part of a decade researching gender, sexuality, and literature from Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. I did a lot of comparative work with Arabic and French literature, and studied abroad at the American University of Beirut.
Then I had a baby and I spent lots of time reading children’s books with my kids. I have a strong investment in “diverse literature” because that reflects who I am. I also have a keen interest in education, which comes from being a mother of a “special” kid. As a mother, I’ve had to think long and hard about pedagogies and techniques that go beyond traditional approaches.
I guess I fell in love with kiddie lit, because, ten years on, my kids have moved on from reading picture books, but here I am, still reading them for myself. Shh…don’t tell, but those picture books on the shelves are mine!
What I try to do is bring that knowledge of culture, which I gained from my doctoral work, to my writing on children’s literature. Sometimes that makes me a cranky, demanding reader, but that’s only because I believe in the ability for literature to have such a profound and lasting effect on shaping our thinking.
I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at: julie (dot) azzam (at sign) gmail (dot) com