Thursday, July 05, 2007

Canadian Arab Author releases first book

Chick-lit makes its way to Cuba

First-time Arab-Canadian author explores more than mojitos, cigars and salsa dancing

Toronto, ON – July 04, 2007 -- Young women who struggle to balance the competing pressures of careers, love, friends, family values and individuality will identify with Nadine Dajani's brilliantly-written chick-lit novel with ethnic flare, Fashionably Late. Going beyond the traditional "women's fiction lite" fare, the novel shakes up the fashion-plus-best-friends-plus-boys formula with shadows of social criticism, a fresh look at bastion-of-communism-turned-tourist-hotspot Cuba, and perhaps most surprisingly for a "chick lit" novel, the Lebanese civil war. "Anyone who is curious about the interplay between different cultures will get something from this book," said author Nadine Dajani in a recent interview.

Fashionably Late is far from forgettable fluff for fashionistas. This smart, sassy and inspirational story illustrates the profound evolution of Montreal-based Muslim Ali Hallaby, a sensible accountant who endures a tumultuous quarter-life crisis involving a struggle with career chaos, powerful parental pressure and a lacklustre love life when she fails the Uniform Final Examination (UFE), the single most important thing standing between her and a blossoming career at one of the Big Four accounting firms.

Drawing strength from her friends, foreign travel and her love of fashion, Ali's courageous journey of self-discovery will embolden other young women to listen to the desires of their heart and act on what they learn, while whisking them away to historic and romantic Cuba.

"From the chic boutiques of Montreal to the sultry nightlife in Cuba, Fashionably Late sparkles with wit and humour. You will fall in love with Dajani's engaging Lebanese-Canadian heroine," commented JoAnn Hornak, author of Adventures of a Salsa Goddess.

"It was about having something to say," Dajani, an accountant-turned-author, responded when asked why she decided to pen her first novel. "I wanted to create a novel that people would enjoy, but I was encouraged to infuse it with details and insights about the immigrant experience, especially as seen through the eyes of a deeply misunderstood minority group (Arabs). Ultimately, it was the multicultural aspect of the novel as well as the unusual setting that appealed to people," she explains.

Born in Lebanon and raised in Canada, Dajani grew up loving all things right-brained, but when it came time for university, opted to major in accounting instead. After completing (and passing) her accounting examinations, Dajani moved to the Cayman Islands to work in the offshore banking industry. Eager to flex her creative muscles and explore her passion for fashion, Dajani enrolled in a Fashion Marketing degree at LaSalle College in her spare time.

Fashionably Late enjoyed an international release in June 2007, and is available at major bookstores as well as on-line at Chapters, Indigo and Amazon.