Randa Jarrar on raising her son and teenage motherhood [Video]

Randa Jarrar on raising her son and teenage motherhood [Video]

In Beyond the Cover, Open Book - Everand Originals by Ashley McDonnell

Randa Jarrar on raising her son and teenage motherhood [Video]

“So much of art is time travel. So it’s kind of like going back in the past and giving that instruction manual to myself, and saying ‘I know it’s going to be tough, and I know that you think that it’s impossible, but it’s not. And not only is it not impossible, you might actually do a good job.’”

This is how Randa Jarrar conceived of her “anti-momoir momoir,” You Are a Teen Mom: Instructions. Her memoir/instruction manual is part of Everand Originals’ Roxane Gay & series, which is a collection of essays curated by beloved bestselling author Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist, Hunger) that celebrate original voices and the human experience.

In the below video, part of Everand’s Welcome Home video series, you’ll hear more about Jarrar’s experiences as a young parent, as well as her son’s (loving) perspective on how he was raised, plus more about her work.

Welcome Home visits authors, artists, and creators where they most feel at home and creatively empowered. It explores how places, people, community, and emotion affect the creative process — giving insight into the story behind the author, the human behind the name, and the passion that drives them to create. Find all the Welcome Home videos here.

Randa Jarrar is the author of the memoir Love Is An Ex-Country, the novel A Map of Home, and the collection of stories Him, Me, Muhammad Ali. She is also a performer who has appeared in independent films and in the TV show Ramy. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a Creative Capital Award and an American Book Award, as well as awards and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, PEN, and others.

Her most recent work You Are a Teen Mom: Instructions is part of our ongoing series curated by Roxane Gay celebrating original voices.

Find out more about the works released in the Roxane Gay & series below.

Memoirist, essayist, and novelist Jarrar offers an honest and wholly original user’s manual on how to raise a happy and well-adjusted child with little help and even fewer resources, but a fierce willingness to live out loud.


Built for This by Julia Turshen

Let cookbook author Turshen lift you up with her memoir about embracing her inner and outer strength. Turshen shares how she learned to appreciate her appetite for food, started powerlifting to marvel at all the things her body could do, and now knows the meat on her bones is “made of the things [she’s] capable of.” 


My Year of Psychedelics by Gabrielle Bellot

In this fascinating and literally trippy memoir, acclaimed essayist and columnist Bellot shares the story of how magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, and other psychedelics transformed her life for the better.


For up-to-date Roxane Gay & series releases and more, follow us @everand_us on Instagram and TikTok.


About the Author: Ashley McDonnell

Ashley is an Everand editor who loves Ernest Hemingway, “The Hunger Games,” and EDM. When she’s not reading, she’s making nerdy podcasts about anime and manga and learning to DJ.