Recommend me readings on pre-Islamic Middle Eastern history, Bedouins, & Middle Eastern Americans

"Stereotyping marginalised groups isn't satire. Satire speaks truth to power. Stereotypes pander to its prejudices."

--K. J. Charles.

I'm making a plea for reading recommendations, to supplement the book-gathering I've been doing on my own.

Those of you who've been following my Three Lands series know that my new hero mentioned below is going to have a problem the minute he arrives in modern-day USA: he looks Middle Eastern, and he abides by some traces of traditional Bedouin culture.

So I'm in desperate need of books or blogs that talk about the experience of being a Middle Eastern American today - specifically, the various ways in which other Americans react to Middle Eastern Americans. Can you folks recommend any?

I'm also looking for books or documentaries about the Bedouins in the past and present. Those books seem to be scarce; all the ones I've found so far are written by ethnographers or travellers.

Finally, I'm looking for books about the history of the pre-Islamic Middle East: original sources and history books. My hero is coming from a time period that approximates the late 5th / early 6th century CE (about the time of Arthurian Britain), but I'm a fan of ancient history, so any pre-Islamic Middle Eastern history would be fine.

In all of the above cases, bonus points if the books are written by authors who are Middle Eastern or ethnic Middle Eastern.

(I know that this talk of the Middle East is geographically broad, but all I know is that my hero's distant ancestors were desert nomads. He doesn't know any more than that. By the time my hero comes along, his people have been living in a setting akin to the northern Mediterranean - think Italy - for more than a millennia. So his whole culture is, within the context of the fantasy world, "Middle Eastern diaspora.")


I've started working on a parallel worlds travel romance - sort of like a time travel romance, except that it features travel between a fantasy world (the Three Lands world, as it happens) and our world. I hope to have the first story in that series out soon, as an e-book.

This will be my first heterosexual genre romance series (as opposed to heterosexual romances tucked into series that are mainly on other topics). Any tips from those of you who write heterosexual romance would be much appreciated. And if you readers have favorite heterosexual romance novels or authors, do tell!


June 2018



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