Associate Professor of English Diya Abdo won the honorable mention award in the creative nonfiction category of the International Literary Awards for her essay “Bad Girl.”
“This essay explores fascinating and complex issues that transcend autobiography: what it means to be a ‘good’ or virtuous Muslim woman, and how to reconcile that with being an academic who pushes boundaries in pursuit of knowledge,” the judge wrote.
“The writer loves her native Jordan (she is of Palestinian heritage), her female family members, and women students, but realizes that she does not wish to impose on her own daughters the expectations she was raised with, often resulting in self-censorship. The themes of erasure, exile, and making a home between cultures are dealt with deftly in this ambitious piece.”
The International Literary Awards are sponsored by the Center for Women Writers at Salem College.