I have written widely on motherhood. Both my completed novels touch on the subject and my PhD exegesis is an exploration of contemporary works written from a mother’s perspective, from Lionel Shriver’s harrowing We Need to Talk About Kevin to Barbara Kingsolver’s intriguing The Bean Trees. I am interested in mothers as people with lives that aren’t simply connected to their children.
It is one of those topics that immigrants tend to return to. You sometimes feel lost in your new country but you still don’t feel entirely at home in the one you left behind because it has changed. I like writing about all kinds of alienation and loneliness, as felt by an outsider, a Palestinian immigrant, a teenager questioning their sexuality or someone with mental health issues.
My childhood summers were spent roaming the Swedish country side. I still return to my memories of those tall pine forests, that stretch of amber beach, for inspiration when I write. The nature surrounding my characters and the seasons they live through play an important role in my writing as characters go ice-skating, feed the ducks in the local park or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll to the river.