Anat Deracine in the News
Interviews and Media Appearances

Inspirational Woman: Anat Deracine | Author & Technologist

"I’m not the same person I was ten years ago, or even ten days ago. I don’t tie my identity to the past, and am comfortable with evolving as I need to. This makes me open to growth, to making mistakes and learning from them. I know no successful person who has not learned to pick themselves up from failure."

Anat Deracine at Disruptive Seasons 2021 Autumn Event

No heroes, no martyrs: Disrupting the system sustainably

Social Impact Authors: How and why Anat Deracine is helping to change our world

"If I could ask three things of people, they would be to uplift the voices of those whom governments aim to silence, to question any assumptions regarding gender roles they may have inherited from their parents or cultures, and to think of solutions that don’t just help one individual cope with a broken system but actually change the system to liberate everyone."

Spring 2018 Flying Starts: Anat Deracine

She chose the pseudonym Deracine because it’s the root of the word deracinate, which means “to uproot from one’s native land” and which reflects her experience of being an immigrant most places she has lived.

The book’s central theme is “friendships can destroy or be what saves you,” she says. Another key theme is courage, which many female characters display in different ways, such as sacrificing their dreams to give others freedom, keeping their heads down to protect their loved ones, or fleeing to a new country they know little about.

Interview with Anat Deracine

Deracine drew on her own experiences to write Driving by Starlight, especially for the novel’s complex female relationships.

Driving by Starlight includes a large cast of young (and a few older) Saudi women, each of whom has her own challenges and motivations. “There is no one Middle Eastern woman,” Deracine says. “They’re figuring out who they are even within this very tight bounding box.” 

The arc of the novel is focused on how these women overcome those disagreements and learn to lift each other up in the face of darker threats. Or, as Deracine puts it, “How do you let the little battles fall away when you realize you have a bigger war to fight?”

Interview with Anat Deracine, Author of Driving by Starlight

"I consider myself a citizen of the world, having lived for years in many countries. At this time in history, when there is so much hyper-focus on identity as being defined by national boundaries, it was important to me to take on an identity that was more global. To be uprooted from one’s native homeland or society can also be a blessing. To be deracine can also mean to be free of the expectations rooted in a single culture."

Anat Deracine on family, freedom and female friendships in Driving by Starlight

Lelanie Seyffer: One of my favorite parts of the novel was this one: “We had each been in our corners, hoarding the tiny slice of love we still had, but together we had more than enough for everyone.” One of my favorite things about this story is the female friendship and female relationships found in this book. Can you speak a little bit about those and your experience writing them?

Anat Deracine: I have always been sustained by my friendships with other women, and so I seek these out naturally. It’s easy to get caught up in the false competitions with each other, where we think the things we want (like love, success, or fame) are limited, and that if one of us gets the “prize” there’s less for the rest of us. But as long as we hold to that, we can be manipulated easily, played against each other, and we all lose in the end. 

Book Blogger Review of Driving by Starlight

"I honestly adored everything about Driving By Starlight! It's immersive, makes you think, has heart wrenching + heart-breaking moments, builds characters and their stories is such a fascinating and absolutely incredible way!

 

I loved the complex characters, story line, themes, powerful messages of hope–basically everything!!

 

So, if you haven’t picked up Driving By Starlight yet, I cannot recommend it enough! This novel is truly such a gem!!