Theory And Memoir.

October 11, 2019 | Uncategorized  |  Leave a Comment

Audience: how does the text instruct you how to read it? Prefatory material? (Peritext, pretext?) How does the duration of writing unfold relative to duration of action?

Once More We Saw Stars by Jason Greene”

Once More We Saw Stars is a memoir with a grief narrative. However, I read it as a story. The plot “or the memories” in the text is very flow and easy to follow and imagine. Jason Greene actually wrote it as if it was a novel, non fiction novel, so it was easy to read and interact with, especially with that details he added into this memoir.

I really liked how Jason Greene mixed together various emothions such as, happiness, hope, sadness, denial, and anger

The duration is almost the same. He started writing this memoir the firs moment when the accident has happened to his daughter. He wrote it as a journal, he was not planning to make a book out of it. Instead, I think he wrote it in order to be free from his negative feelings, fear and sadness especially, to inhale himself.

Work Cited:

Greene, Jayson. Once More We Saw Stars. First edition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2019. Print.

Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. 2nd ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Print.

As African Americans, Turner and Hurston are both marginalized in some ways, but they also portray themselves as exceptional in part because of their difference from the average or mainstream. Choose a moment from each that you think captures their distinct tones and analyze how these passages work to build a sense of an African American voice in literature.  Does the filter through which Turner’s voice pass interfere with your sense of an “authentic” voice?

They both used images and good metaphors to describe their feeling as African Americans. They were proud and happy but suffering from people’s racism as they always were ignored or was looked at in a inferior look.



Work Cited

Hurston, Zora Neale​”How it feels to be colored me.” AEI Paper & Studies, American Enterprise Institute, 2013. Academic


Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. 2nd ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Print.


Prompt From Appendix B.

October 6, 2019 | Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

Write an autobiographical paragraph about yourself in the third person. Then after a few hours rewrite it in the first person. Note the kinds of changes you made in it. 

From the third person:

Lujain is the eldest daughter in her family among four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. As she is the eldest, she used to be responsible for her siblings, kind of being the second mother of them. She talks to them and provides them support and care all the time. Lujain grew up traveling around the world because of her father’s job as an employee at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Saudi Arabia. He was required to move from the try to the other and stay in each country between three to four years. Lujain has lived in various countries, such as Egypt, Pakistan, and the United States. She gained a lot of these countries’ cultures and lifestyles. She grew up reading and writing in her free time. As a result, she becomes aware of her role in life, so she does not suffice to be the eldest daughter and a student, she is keen to take advantage of everything surround her that might help her somehow. Therefore, she has been experiencing many types of jobs for almost three years. And most of them are volunteering jobs. Even though she is working as a volunteer, she is working hard, trying her best to take advantage of it and gain experience from it.

From the first person:

As the eldest sister of four young siblings, I am responsible for taking care of them and giving them the right support all the time and under any situation. I have to spend each of my life stages in different countries. When I was in primary school, I was living in Saudi Arabia, when I was in elementary and first her of high school, I was living in Egypt, my second year of high school was in Pakistan, then I came back again to Saudi Arabia and studies my third and last year of high school. When I was in Egypt during my elementary years, I can remember that one hour I used to spend with my father reading the newspaper, not the whole newspaper, just some pieces. It was the most painful hour in my life back then. My mother had a different way of conniving me to read, so she used to take me to the library and let me choose the stories I liked and purchase them for me. My parents’ different ways of raising and teaching me have shaped my character and made me what I am today.


What I have noticed: 

I have noticed that I was writing in a more formal way in the third person, while I was more comfortable and creative in the first person. I think because talking about yourself with your own voice is easier than talking in the third person. Moreover, in the first person, I went deep inside into my life and character. And I think this is because of the memoir. I wrote the first paragraph trying to collect the basic information about me. However, in the second paragraph, later on, I remembered many aspects of my life that I have not talked about in the first paragraph, so I was writing in more depth and detail in the second paragraph.


Work Cited

Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. 2nd ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Print.


Reflection on Persepolis

           Persepolis by Marjane Satarpi is one of the most successful biographies that I have ever read in my life. I have never read a book that combines joy, culture, religion, and politics. Marjane in her comic book has described her life from the very beginning, starting from her point of view as a child, how she reacted on the revolutions, how her parents played a significant role in her early life, and how she overcame the obstacles she faced when she was a little girl. Even she was telling her story in a child’s point of view, I did enjoy it. And I think she was clear to deliver her voice even as a child.

Marjane was an exceptional child when she was between 10 and 12 years old, she used to be a leader among her friends at the same age. Even though she was not allowed to participate in demonstrations with her parents who were keen to go to demonstrations very often, and her father went out daily to photograph events that were related to the Islamic revolutions, so he was there with a camera in hand capturing history as it happens. She did not give up on her dream of going to demonstrations, so she demonstrated with her friends in the house garden. This shows the readers how much Marjane was blunt and stubborn.

Marjane depicted life in Iran in the revolution period as an obstacle that changed the whole country and shaken its safety. The revolution, or what the Iranian named it the Islamic revolution, has imposed various rules and systems that prevented people in Iran from living normally. There were various kinds of oppression that were applied under the pretense of Islam, which does not accept any of the rules they have applied under the name of Islam.

Moreover, oppression was not only applied to females back then in Iran. However, It was applied to every person in Iran including females, males, children, old people, and even leaders. An image for the oppression we can see in Persepolis is the various kinds of torture that were provided in prisons in Iran is pulling nails out, whipping with thick electrical cables on foot, and burning them in their backs and cutting them into pieces. Mohsin, Marjane’s parents’ friend, has told them that during his visit to Marjane’s parents in their house.

Another image we can see of oppression is social class oppression. When their maid was dating the neighbor boy and Marjane’s father knew about it, he went and talked with the boy and told him that the girl he was writing her love letters was actually the maid, not his real daughter, and the boy simply left her because of the social classes. In addition to that, poor kids only would be trained to be soldiers. The guardian of the revolution would give them gold plastic keys for paradise. They told them there would be better food, women, and life in the afterlife during the war between Iran and Iraq. And all of that oppression was under the pretense the Islamic rules and revolution which is totally wrong because Islam is against what they have done and the rules they were applying and following. As a result, many people left Iran and immigrated to other countries, escaping from the Islamic republic as people were describing Muslims leaders as stupid.

Another theme we can see in the story is Fear as we can see that in various images. One of them is when a German journalist took a photo of Marjane’s mother without the veil because she was against it. Marjane was very proud of her mother as her mother’s photo was published in many utopian newspapers and only one magazine in Iran. Even though Marjane’s mother’s photo was only published in one magazine in Iran, the mother was scared so she dyed her hair and wore dark glasses.

The thing that grabbed my attention is in Marjane Satarpi’s interview. She said that her novel was not totally true, and writers have to add things to make a story, even documentaries did that. I started wondering where exactly in the book she was not saying the whole truth? Where in the book she was lying to make a story? And where in the book she was adding fake details to just fill the story?

Indeed, Marjane has described a whole country in very specific details in a very smooth and interesting way. The obstacles in her life did not prevent her from her dreams but strengthen her to fight and pursue her freedom.

Works Cited

            Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. Pantheon, 2004.

 Persepolis is a graphic novel by Marjane Starapi in which she is describing her life during the revolutions in Iran starting when she was 9 years old in 1979.

Marjane is an exceptional child, when she is between 10 and 12 years old, she used to be a leader among her friends at the same age. Even though she is not allowed to participate in demonstrations with her parents who are keen to go to demonstrations very often, and her father, a photographer, who goes out daily to photograph events that are related to the Islamic revolutions, so he is there with camera in hand capturing history as it happens. She doe not give up on her dream of going to demonstrations, so she demonstrates with her friends in house garden. Which shows the readers how much Marjane is a blunt and stubborn.
She has various features that make her unique. “thinking of other “social classes”, being leader in a very young age, talking in politics and read comic books talking about history and politics in Iran, Traveling alone in the age of 14 to a foreign country, etc”

Themes: Oppression, Femizim, Fear, Religion, and Repression.


  1. How would Persepolis have been different if Marjane Starapi had not made it a graphic novel? would it be less or more effective?
  2. Marjane Starapi said, “even documentaries they are part fictional.” Do you agree? why?

Here are some of interesting links I have found very helpful in learning the concept and the meaning of the GRAPHIC NOVELS and the reason of using it, and the memoir in Persepolis by Marjane Starapi.

Below is 1. a TEDx video that is talking about various graphic novels including both Persepolis and Maus:

2. And  another short video of Persepolis the film,which shows the oppression in women life in Iran.

3. Good Articles.

Graphics and Global Dissent: Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Persian Miniatures, and the Multifaceted Power of Comic Protest.

MarjaneSatrapi’sPersepolis: Eluding the Frames


“What might lead a person to accept being a slave?” This what I asked myself once I finished reading My Family’s Slave by Alex Tizon. As I was reading, there was a sentence that hooked my attention and made me wonder what is all that about.  “She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us.” The author said. so if we pay attention to the word choice here, we will notice the words “gave as a gift, and brought her” which was supposed to be indicated to “it” not “she”, so the logical analysis is that Lola who was given as a gift and was brought with the family to the United States was actually A SLAVE.

I was shocked by how Lola yielded to all of that injustice and oppression and did not even think about escaping to free herself from slavery. And that leads me to do a quick research about life in Philippine culture and life, so I can understand this story. The Philippines has a long history of colonialism, hundreds of years of oppression by the Spanish and then several decades by the US, so it is very common and normal to have a slave in their houses. And they do not call them slaves, they think this is their normal and natural life. As a result, the mother and the sons were not trying to do any good for Lola, any care or appreciation for her unlimited giving. However, things have hanged after the mother has passed away.

The elder son, the author, took Lola with him and let her live with his family. He also was giving her 200 dollars a week. I think he regretted how they were treating Lola in the past, so he wanted to “give her life back maybe” but it was too late for that.

In Filipino culture, there is a strong sense of duty to family, which made it very difficult for Alex to speak against his parents. So he waited until his mother passes away to make an action toward the situation of Lola.

I think there is no hero in this story, even Lola. In my opinion, Lola should have refused her situation as a slave for these many years, especially that she was living in the United States, so it might be a bit easier for her to escape from asking for her freedom.

Indeed, I think it is a memoir that has a narrative of grief, in which we can feel the regret the author was living even though he did not say that. He was griefing that Lola has been through this life because of his family and he did not do anything or face his family, which was impossible in his home country back then, to help her.  “Other aspects of narratives of grief and mourning address larger social, cultural, and political issues.” (Reading Autobiography). 

Work Cited:

Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. 2nd ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Print.

Tizon, Alex. “My Family’s Slave.” The Atlantic, June 2007,

I am a person who loves trying various fields, so I learn a thing in each field, maybe many things. My journey has started three years ago, when I become aware of volunteering in society and how it is important, not only in my personal life but in the whole society. I have begun volunteering 3 years ago as a leader in Us to US nonprofit organization and led the team in Light the Light of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that helps people who suffer from cancer. It was a very great experience that taught me a lot.

After that, I was encouraged to volunteer more and more in many different fields. I have applied for the Human Resources department in Saudis in USA non-profit organization, they have accepted me. I have entered as a Human Resources specialist, then a few months later I have promoted to be the Human Resources supervisor, I became the head of the Human Resources Department. Being socially active opened up the doors for me. I was very keen to do networking with many people from various fields, so I got my current internship. “If you wonder how I did find my internship, you can take a look at my internship opportunity post!” I have also worked as a freelance copywriter for King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia remotely for a few months, which enhanced my copywriting skills. It actually enhanced my creativity.

With all of these experiences and background, I should have a clear vision of what exactly I should do after graduating, but I don’t. I do know that I am open to any work opportunity that is related to my experience fields, such as writing, translating, reporting, and all the Human Resources tasks. The first thing I will do after graduating is applying for an OPT, so I can stay another year in the United States and it should be a very good opportunity to find my future job.

LinkedIn Profile.

September 21, 2019 | Uncategorized  |  Leave a Comment



The narrator in Once More We Saw Stars, started talking in the “I” voice, remembering what had happened to his little daughter, Greeta, in New York when a brick has fallen from an eighth story windowsill on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and that shows that it is a grief and mourning memoir. When the narrator recalled what happened to his little daughter, I think he wanted to make his daughter stay in his life, still, exist in his world. It is beneficial so the narrator stays relieved and pleased. However, it is very harmful to just think about someone who was very close to us, but we cannot touch him or talk to him. It is a loss!

It is not a novel, but I was reading it as a story.  Writing memoir is great, but simultaneously difficult. Writing a very specific memoir that has our hopeless, grief, and crazy moments in-depth impacts our life both ways positive and negative. It makes us relive these moments again. Yes, I agree that writing our memory in journals does help a lot in our healing, but it has its own disadvantages too.


Work Cited:

Greene, Jayson. Once More We Saw Stars. First edition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2019. Print.

Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson. Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives. 2nd ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Print.

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