Rabih Alameddine

Five Things I've Learned About

Being Grumpy

If you have already purchased a ticket for this event, please use your email address to sign in now.

If you need a ticket, use the BUY TICKET button just below.

Please enter the email address with which you made your purchase.

Join internationally-acclaimed writer Rabih Alameddine, and discover the few things he’s learned about the elasticity of identity and imagination.

Online Event Details

  • 90 minutes


  • Single-Class Ticket - $40.00

View the archive of my 90-minute class and discover the few things I’ve learned about the elasticity of identity and imagination.

After years of readers asking me how I wrote a novel about a seventy-two-year-old woman with blue hair and “gotten it right,” I can say that I am no longer shocked by the question. I remain, however, still a bit bewildered by it. The assumption, of course, is that I’m a man and therefore, shouldn’t be able to understand how a woman thinks or feels.

Now, I am a man, probably, or at least most of the time. I identify as such, and it is my identity. Well-meaning readers who ask the question probably think that my identity limits my perspective. It probably does. I’m sure it does.

And that’s one of the main reasons I write: to expand my perspective, to enlarge my world.

Identifying as a man makes me see the world a certain way, however, being male isn’t my only identity. My work has been described as immigrant literature. Yes, I am one. I’m an Arab, I’m American, I’m Lebanese, I’m an atheist. I’m a soccer player. I am gay. So many identities, so little time. These days, grumpy is the identity that I feel defines me more fully. I am a gay writer, a queer writer, and Arab writer, an immigrant writer, a Lebanese writer, a Lebanese-American writer, an American writer, a grumpy writer, and more, much more.

Drawing on years of experience of being an outsider—and on sixty-some years of being an oddball—I will share a little about what I think works about claiming a certain identity or having one assigned to you by society, and what is limiting about it. I will talk primarily about writing, but identity cuts across everything in life. I suggest that for many of us, the reason we might not be able to understand how someone who is not like us feels or thinks is not necessarily a failure of empathy, but one of imagination. I will tell stories of the elasticity of both identity and imagination.

There are many reasons why I call myself a grumpy writer. I joke about it in hopes of pinpricking the inflated power the subject of identity has over us.

In Lebanon, I am considered an American. In America, I am considered Lebanese. I am grumpy in both countries.

Grumpies of the world, unite!

What I will not do is teach you how to be grumpy. You either have it or you don’t, so get off my lawn.

Rabih Alameddine

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, and I, the DivineThe HakawatiAn Unnecessary Woman, The Angel of History, as well as the story collection, The Perv. His most recent novel, The Wrong End of the Telescope, won the 2022 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He divides his time between his bedroom and living room.

Growth and Change

Discover inspiring classes about growth and change from writers and artists we admire.

Learn more, view personal video invitations to all sessions, and get special discounted pricing using the Five Things I’ve Learned Multi Pass.

Learn More

View On-Demand Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Your ticket entitles you to ongoing access to this class — even after the live session concludes.

If you purchase a ticket in time to join the class live, you can view the archive as soon as it’s posted, as often as you like. Look for an email with information about how to access the course archive within 48 hours of the end of the live class. Once you get it, you’ll have all the information you need to access it as you like across any and all devices you own.

If you purchase a ticket after the live class takes place, you can view the archive immediately, and you can return to it as frequently as you like

If you’d like a refund, we can happily credit the card you used to register for the session. Please send a note to pre.event@extendedsession.com , and we’ll confirm receipt as soon as we see it (We don’t need your credit card info – just your email address and date of purchase.)

There are two things to know:

  • Unfortunately, we can only accept cancellations and refunds up to 48 hours before a scheduled session.
  • There is sure to be a lapse in time between the time we refund your order and the time a corresponding credit appears on your credit card statement. So that you’re not left waiting and wondering, we’ll contact you as soon as we’ve processed the credit in our system.

For reasons we hope you’ll understand – the biggest of them the fact that we make a point of compensating the folks who host Five Things I’ve Learned classes as quickly as we can – we can’t accommodate refunds for tickets purchased within 48 of the start of a scheduled live event. We can also accommodate refund requests for the purchase of an archived session only within 24 hours from the time of purchase.

If you’ve purchased a ticket for this online class and you find that for some reason you can’t make the live session, you have two choices:

  • The first: View the session archive. You can view the session archive as soon as it’s posted – or any time, as often as you like. We’ll make an archive of this class available within 48 hours of the live session, and we’ll send every ticket holder details on how they can view it. As a ticket holder, you’re able to view this full session archive any time– as often as you like.
  • The second: Request a refund. Just send a note to pre.event@extendedsession.com, and we’ll help sort things out. Please keep in mind that we can only accommodate refund requests made more than 48 hours from the start of a live session.

We take data security and the need to protect your privacy as seriously as you do. That’s why we use Stripe to process your registration transaction. They take your credit card and secure your data – in fact we don’t even have access to your credit card number. Which is just the way we like it!

The information we do retain we protect carefully.

We’re committed to keeping personal information collected from those individuals who visit our website and make use of our online programming and services confidential, secure, and private. Our privacy policy ensures that we meet – and when we can – exceed most existing privacy standards.

Want to know more? Read the ExtendedSession Online Privacy Policy Agreement.

Still have a question? We’d be pleased to hear from you. Send a note to: pre.event@extendedsession.com.

The receipt you receive via email immediately after you register is all you need to confirm you’re set for the upcoming session.

About 48 hours before the live class is scheduled to begin, we’ll send you a personalized email confirming that everything’s on schedule and containing easy instructions for accessing the class.

We’ll send another reminder on the day of the class itself, and we’ll be available online just before the class begins to make sure you have no problems joining when the time is right.

Have a question in the meantime? We’d be pleased to hear from you. Send a note to: pre.event@extendedsession.com.

If you’ve not received confirmation of your purchase, it’s not because we haven’t sent it. In fact, we send an immediately confirmation to the email address you share with us to ensure that we can reach you with class details.

If you don’t receive a confirmation within 10 minutes or so making your purchase, please first check your “junk” or “promotions” email first — some people’s email programs group unfamiliar emails in these types of folders. The email date and time should match closely the time you purchased your ticket online.

If the confirmation email is not there, there’s a small possibility that your email address wasn’t entered as you intended when you registered. (You’d be surprised, but this happens.)

In any case, we want to make sure we can reach you. And we want to make sure you’re registered for the class you want. if you can’t find your confirmation email, please send us a note at pre.event@extendedsession.com. We’ll get back to you right away.

© 2023 All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

Thanks for stopping by!

Find out first about every new class.

TicketsYou and a guest could win two tickets to the class of your choice.

Register now. We share two tickets every day, and an email newsletter with news about our latest upcoming classes once a week.

By sharing your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.