Paradise Lost and Found: The Story behind My Father’s Paradise
Growing up in materialistic 1980s Los Angeles, Ariel wanted nothing to do with his father. He saw Yona Sabar as a stone-age relic, a walking fashion tragedy who couldn’t get his clothes to match and refused to see a barber about his out-of-control, Einstein-like hair. Then Ariel had his own son, and everything changed. In his marquee speech, Ariel weaves the remarkable story of the Kurdish Jews and Aramaic with the moving tale of how a consummate California kid came to write a book about his family’s Kurdish roots.
Ariel Sabar covered the 2008 presidential campaigns for The Christian Science Monitor and is an award-winning former staff writer for the Baltimore Sun and the Providence (RI) Journal. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Monthly, and many other publications. Ariel's first book, My Fathers Paradise: A Sons Search for His Familys Past, won the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. It was a Philadelphia Inquirer staff pick, a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, a Christian Science Monitor Best Nonfiction Book of 2008, and an Elle magazine Readers Prize Selection. It also won the Rodda Book Award, given by the Church and Synagogue Library Association once every three years to the adult book that best exhibits excellence in writing and has contributed significantly to congregational libraries through promotion of spiritual growth. No fewer than five major Jewish communities "Philadelphia, Baltimore, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Denver, and Long Island " selected it as their annual community read.
Ariel lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC.