Browse our regularly updated lists of staff picks, bestsellers, genre selections, and more.
Remembering John Lewis
March: Book One
Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole). March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall. Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story. Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.
Across That Bridge
Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work/Biography.
In Across That Bridge, Congressman John Lewis draws from his experience as a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement to offer timeless wisdom, poignant recollections, and powerful principles for anyone interested in challenging injustices and inspiring real change toward a freer, more peaceful society.
The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis, a close confidant to Martin Luther King, Jr., have never been more relevant. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis has remained a devoted advocate of the discipline and philosophy of nonviolence. Now, in an era in which the protest culture he helped forge has resurfaced as a force for change, Lewis' insights have never been more relevant. In this heartfelt book, Lewis explores the contributions that each generation must make to achieve change.
John Lewis: get in the way
Follow the courageous journey of John Lewis, a civil rights hero, congressional leader, and human rights champion whose unwavering fight for justice spans the past 50 years. The son of sharecroppers, Lewis grew up in the segregated South and rose from Alabama's Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill. His humble origins have forever linked him to those whose voices often go unheard.
We Are the Change
Sixteen award-winning children's book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book. Featuring an introduction by Harry Belafonte, words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among others, this inspirational collection sets a powerful example for generations of young leaders to come. It includes illustrations by Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara, Christopher Silas Neal, John Parra, Brian Pinkney, Greg Pizzoli, Sean Qualls, Dan Santat, Shadra Strickland, Melissa Sweet, and Raúl the Third.
The Soul of America
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The Christian Science Monitor • Southern Living
Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even now.
While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.
Praise for The Soul of America
“Brilliant, fascinating, timely . . . With compelling narratives of past eras of strife and disenchantment, Meacham offers wisdom for our own time.”—Walter Isaacson
“Gripping and inspiring, The Soul of America is Jon Meacham’s declaration of his faith in America.”—Newsday
“Meacham gives readers a long-term perspective on American history and a reason to believe the soul of America is ultimately one of kindness and caring, not rancor and paranoia.”—USA Today
His Truth Is Marching On
An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present--from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America
John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma, Alabama, and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, is a visionary and a man of faith. Drawing on decades of wide-ranging interviews with Lewis, Jon Meacham writes of how this great-grandson of a slave and son of an Alabama tenant farmer was inspired by the Bible and his teachers in nonviolence, Reverend James Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr., to put his life on the line in the service of what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature." From an early age, Lewis learned that nonviolence was not only a tactic but a philosophy, a biblical imperative, and a transforming reality. At the age of four, Lewis, ambitious to become a minister, practiced by preaching to his family's chickens. When his mother cooked one of the chickens, the boy refused to eat it--his first act, he wryly recalled, of nonviolent protest. Integral to Lewis's commitment to bettering the nation was his faith in humanity and in God--and an unshakable belief in the power of hope.
Meacham calls Lewis "as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first-century America as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the Republic itself in the eighteenth century." A believer in the injunction that one should love one's neighbor as oneself, Lewis was arguably a saint in our time, risking limb and life to bear witness for the powerless in the face of the powerful. In many ways he brought a still-evolving nation closer to realizing its ideals, and his story offers inspiration and illumination for Americans today who are working for social and political change.
John Lewis knew that treating someone differently because of the color of their skin was unfair and wrong. In his early 20s, he decided to do something about it. During the struggle for equal treatment, Lewis faced many beatings and was arrested around 40 times. But he would become one of the most influential leaders in the civil rights movement.
John Lewis in the Lead
The son of an Alabama sharecropper, John Lewis experienced the injustice of segregation early in life. Inspired to action by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lewis joined with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders who believed in fighting segregation peacefully. From Nashville, Tennessee, to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, Lewis was in the forefront of the major civil rights protests of the 1960s. In the face of physical attacks, he persevered with dignity and a devotion to nonviolence, helping southern black people gain the right to vote. Lewis continued his commitment to human rights with words and action, from his home base in the South straight to the nation's capital. In 1986 Lewis was elected to represent Georgia in the United States Congress, where he continues to serve today. John Lewis in the Lead celebrates the life of a living legend of American history. Lewis's passionate belief in justice is a beacon for all who wish to make our country a better place.
Note to Self
In this New York Times bestseller, Gayle King collects her favorite inspiring letters from the popular CBS This Morning segment Note to Self, in which twenty-first century luminaries pen advice and encouragement to the young people they once were.
What do Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Ruth, and Kermit the Frog wish they could tell their younger selves? What about a gay NFL player or the most successful female race car driver?
In Note to Self, CBS This Morning cohost Gayle King shares some of the most memorable letters from the broadcast’s popular segment of the same name. With essays from such varied figures as Oprah, Vice President Joe Biden, Chelsea Handler, and Maya Angelou—as well as poignant words from a Newtown father and a military widow—Note to Self is a moving reflection on the joys and challenges of growing up and a perfect gift for any occasion.
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes--now in paperback will an all-new discussion guide.
As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed eleven times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history.
Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.
NonFiction Graphic Novels
The Machine Never Blinks
This graphic history traces spying and surveillance from legends to the present. In The Machine Never Blinks, the story of surveillance is presented from its earliest days, to help you more fully understand today's headlines about every-increasing, constant, and unrelenting monitoring and global data collection. It's a threat to your rights, privacy, dignity, and sanity. This book spans surveillance from the Trojan Horse, through 9/11 and to the so-called War on Terror, which enabled the exponential growth of government and corporate intercepts and databases. It also explains spying as entertainment (reality TV) and convenience (smart speakers). Take a look around... Who's watching you right now?
Year of the Rabbit
One family’s quest to survive the devastation of the Khmer Rouge
"Striking and moving... The comics form allows readers [to] understand through chronological progression and a close view how horror can become the stuff of the everyday."—The New York Times
Year of the Rabbit tells the true story of one family’s desperate struggle to survive the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized power in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Immediately after declaring victory in the war, they set about evacuating the country’s major cities with the brutal ruthlessness and disregard for humanity that characterized the regime ultimately responsible for the deaths of one million citizens.
Cartoonist Tian Veasna was born just three days after the Khmer Rouge takeover, as his family set forth on the chaotic mass exodus from Phnom Penh. Year of the Rabbit is based on firsthand accounts, all told from the perspective of his parents and other close relatives. Stripped of any money or material possessions, Veasna’s family found themselves exiled to the barren countryside along with thousands of others, where food was scarce and brutal violence a constant threat.
Year of the Rabbit shows the reality of life in the work camps, where Veasna’s family bartered for goods, where children were instructed to spy on their parents, and where reading was proof positive of being a class traitor. Constantly on the edge of annihilation, they realized there was only one choice—they had to escape Cambodia and become refugees. Veasna has created a harrowing, deeply personal account of one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies.
More than 60 female comics creators share their personal experiences with sexual violence and harassment through new and original comics
Inspired by the global #MeToo Movement, Drawing Power: Women's Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival is a collection of original, nonfiction comics drawn by more than 60 female cartoonists from around the world. Featuring such noted creators as Emil Ferris, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, MariNaomi, Liana Finck, and Ebony Flowers the anthology's contributors comprise a diverse group of many ages, sexual orientations, and races--and their personal stories convey the wide spectrum of sexual harassment and abuse that is still all too commonplace. With a percentage of profits going to RAINN, Drawing Power is an anthology that stokes the fires of progressive social upheaval, in the fight for a better, safer world.
Full list of contributors:
Rachel Ang, Zoe Belsinger, Jennifer Camper, Caitlin Cass, Tyler Cohen, Marguerite Dabaie, Soumya Dhulekar, Wallis Eates, Trinidad Escobar, Kat Fajardo, Joyce Farmer, Emil Ferris, Liana Finck, Sarah Firth, Mary Fleener, Ebony Flowers, Claire Folkman, Noel Franklin
Katie Fricas, Siobhán Gallagher, Joamette Gil, J. Gonzalez-Blitz, Georgiana Goodwin, Roberta Gregory, Marian Henley, Soizick Jaffre
Avy Jetter, Sabba Khan, Kendra Josie Kirkpatrick, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Nina Laden, Miss Lasko-Gross, Carol Lay, Miriam Libicki
Sarah Lightman, LubaDalu, Ajuan Mance, MariNaomi, Lee Marrs, Liz Mayorga, Lena Merhej, Bridget Meyne, Carta Monir, Hila Noam
Diane Noomin, Breena Nuñez, Meg O'Shea, Corinne Pearlman, Cathrin Peterslund, Minnie Phan, Kelly Phillips, Powerpaola, Sarah Allen Reed, Kaylee Rowena, Ariel Schrag, M. Louise Stanley, Maria Stoian, Nicola Streeten, Marcela Trujillo, Carol Tyler, Una, Lenora Yerkes, Ilana Zeffren
Fights is the visceral and deeply affecting memoir of artist/author Joel Christian Gill, chronicling his youth and coming of age as a Black child in a chaotic landscape of rough city streets and foreboding backwoods.
Propelled into a world filled with uncertainty and desperation, young Joel is pushed toward using violence to solve his problems by everything and everyone around him. But fighting doesn’t always yield the best results for a confused and sensitive kid who yearns for a better, more fulfilling life than the one he was born into, as Joel learns in a series of brutal conflicts that eventually lead him to question everything he has learned about what it truly means to fight for one’s life.
"FIGHTS is somehow brutally raw, funny as hell, deeply sensitive and insightful in each panel." –– Nate Powell (March trilogy)
Paying the Land
From the “heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist), a masterful work of comics journalism about indigenous North America, resource extraction, and our debt to the natural world
The Dene have lived in the vast Mackenzie River Valley since time immemorial, by their account. To the Dene, the land owns them, not the other way around, and it is central to their livelihood and very way of being. But the subarctic Canadian Northwest Territories are home to valuable resources, including oil, gas, and diamonds. With mining came jobs and investment, but also road-building, pipelines, and toxic waste, which scarred the landscape, and alcohol, drugs, and debt, which deformed a way of life.
In Paying the Land, Joe Sacco travels the frozen North to reveal a people in conflict over the costs and benefits of development. The mining boom is only the latest assault on indigenous culture: Sacco recounts the shattering impact of a residential school system that aimed to “remove the Indian from the child”; the destructive process that drove the Dene from the bush into settlements and turned them into wage laborers; the government land claims stacked against the Dene Nation; and their uphill efforts to revive a wounded culture.
Against a vast and gorgeous landscape that dwarfs all human scale, Paying the Land lends an ear to trappers and chiefs, activists and priests, to tell a sweeping story about money, dependency, loss, and culture—recounted in stunning visual detail by one of the greatest cartoonists alive.
Big Black: Stand at Attica
A graphic novel memoir from Frank “Big Black” Smith, a prisoner at Attica State Prison in 1971, whose rebellion against the injustices of the prison system remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history.
FOUR DAYS IN 1971 CHANGED THE COURSE OF AMERICAN HISTORY. THIS IS THE TRUE STORY FROM THE MAN AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL.
In the summer of 1971, the New York’s Attica State Prison is a symbol of everything broken in America – abused prisoners, rampant racism and a blind eye turned towards the injustices perpetrated on the powerless. But when the guards at Attica overreact to a minor incident, the prisoners decide they’ve had enough – and revolt against their jailers, taking them hostage and making demands for humane conditions. Frank “Big Black” Smith finds himself at the center of this uprising, struggling to protect hostages, prisoners and negotiators alike. But when the only avenue for justice seems to be negotiating with ambitious Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Big Black soon discovers there may be no hope in finding a peaceful resolution for the prisoners in Attica.
Written by Jared Reinmuth and Frank “Big Black” Smith himself, adapted and illustrated by Ameziane, Big Black: Stand At Attica is an unflinching look at the price of standing up to injustice in what remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history.
Praise for Big Black: Stand at Attica
"The stellar artwork by Améziane (Muhammad Ali) includes tabloidlike chapter openers rendered with bold fonts and exaggerated letterboxes. His expressive realism and muted colors invoke a nostalgic 1970s pulp effect reminiscent of Ed Piskor’s work. This penetrating portrait of a broken correctional system and a flawed man focuses on his legacy of courage, which towers over the forces stacked against him." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Ame´ziane’s (Muhammad Ali) gritty, expressive illustration and muted color palette present this unflinching depiction of the brutal price the Attica inmates paid for demanding civil rights in a style evocative of the 1970s Hollywood Renaissance aesthetic. Sure to be one of the most discussed books this year."- Library Journal
"Seriously, this is a fantastic piece of literature." - Graphic Policy
"If you have an interest in history, memoir, social justice, or just the life of a good man in an extraordinary circumstance, you should track down a copy and experience the story directly." - Black Nerd Problems
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists
A bold and gripping graphic history of the fight for women's rights
The ongoing struggle for women's rights has spanned human history, touched nearly every culture on Earth, and encompassed a wide range of issues, such as the right to vote, work, get an education, own property, exercise bodily autonomy, and beyond. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is a fun and fascinating graphic novel-style primer that covers the key figures and events that have advanced women's rights from antiquity to the modern era. In addition, this compelling book illuminates the stories of notable women throughout history--from queens and freedom fighters to warriors and spies--and the progressive movements led by women that have shaped history, including abolition, suffrage, labor, civil rights, LGBTQ liberation, reproductive rights, and more. Examining where we've been, where we are, and where we're going, Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is an indispensable resource for people of all genders interested in the fight for a more liberated future.
Go to Sleep (I Miss You)
Lucy Knisley is one of the great memoirists of the graphic novel format. Following the completion of her pregnancy memoir Kid Gloves (and the birth of her baby), Lucy embarked on a new project: documenting new motherhood in short, spontaneous little cartoons, which she posted on her Instagram, and which quickly gained her a huge cult following among other moms.
The best of those wildly popular little cartoons are collected in this adorable gift book, Go to Sleep (I Miss You), a perfect read for expecting parents, new parents, and anyone who loves funny, relatable comics storytelling.
2010 Maverick Award winner, 2011 Aesop Prize Winner – Children's folklore section, and a 2011 Eisner Award Nominee. All cultures have tales of the trickster – a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics. In Trickster, 24 Native storytellers were paired with 24 comic artists, telling cultural tales from across America. Ranging from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes downright fiendish, these tales bring tricksters back into popular culture.
The Best We Could Do
An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family's journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.
This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
At the heart of Bui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent--the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.
In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls "a book to break your heart and heal it," The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui's journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.
The Mental Load
A new voice in comics is incisive, funny, and fiercely feminist.
"The mental load. It's incessant, gnawing, exhausting, and disproportionately falls to women. You know the scene--you're making dinner, calling the plumber/doctor/mechanic, checking homework and answering work emails--at the same time. All the while, you are being peppered with questions by your nearest and dearest 'where are my shoes?, 'do we have any cheese?...'" --Australian Broadcasting Corp on Emma's comic
In her first book of comic strips, Emma reflects on social and feminist issues by means of simple line drawings, dissecting the mental load, ie all that invisible and unpaid organizing, list-making and planning women do to manage their lives, and the lives of their family members. Most of us carry some form of mental load--about our work, household responsibilities, financial obligations and personal life; but what makes up that burden and how it's distributed within households and understood in offices is not always equal or fair. In her strips Emma deals with themes ranging from maternity leave (it is not a vacation!), domestic violence, the clitoris, the violence of the medical world on women during childbirth, and other feminist issues, and she does so in a straightforward way that is both hilarious and deadly serious.. If you're not laughing, you're probably crying in recognition. Emma's comics also address the everyday outrages and absurdities of immigrant rights, income equality, and police violence.
Emma has over 300,000 followers on Facebook, her comics have been. shared 215,000 times, and have elicited comments from 21,000 internet users. An article about her in the French magazine L'Express drew 1.8 million views--a record since the site was created. And her comic has just been picked up by The Guardian. Many women will recognize themselves in THE MENTAL LOAD, which is sure to stir a wide ranging, important debate on what it really means to be a woman today.
Poppies of Iraq
A personal account of an Iraqi childhood - appeared on best of the year lists from Kirkus, Guardian, Vulture, Forbes, and more!
Poppies of Iraq is Brigitte Findakly’s nuanced tender chronicle of her relationship with her homeland Iraq, co-written and drawn by her husband, the acclaimed cartoonist Lewis Trondheim. In spare and elegant detail, they share memories of her middle class childhood touching on cultural practices, the education system, Saddam Hussein’s state control, and her family’s history as Orthodox Christians in the arab world. Poppies of Iraq is intimate and wide-ranging; the story of how one can become separated from one’s homeland and still feel intimately connected yet ultimately estranged.
Signs of an oppressive regime permeate a seemingly normal life: magazines arrive edited by customs; the color red is banned after the execution of General Kassim; Baathist militiamen are publicly hanged and school kids are bussed past them to bear witness. As conditions in Mosul worsen over her childhood, Brigitte’s father is always hopeful that life in Iraq will return to being secular and prosperous. The family eventually feels compelled to move to Paris, however, where Brigitte finds herself not quite belonging to either culture. Trondheim brings to life Findakly’s memories to create a poignant family portrait that covers loss, tragedy, love, and the loneliness of exile.
I Know What I Am
Often overlooked in the pantheon of Renaissance masters is Artemisia Gentileschi--Italy's greatest female painter. In 17th century Italy, Artemisia braved the male-dominated sphere of painting to beocme a groundbreaking artist.
Saudi Arabia offers few prospects for the bright young Mohammed El-Gharani. With roots in Chad, Mohammed is treated like a second-class citizen. His access to healthcare and education are restricted; nor can he make the most of his entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 14, having scraped together some money as a street trader, Mohammed seizes an opportunity to study in Pakistan. One Friday in Karachi, Mohammed is detained during a raid on his local mosque. After being beaten and interrogated, he is sold to the American government by the Pakistani forces as a member of Al-Qaida with links to Osama Bin Laden, but Mohammed has heard of neither. The Americans fly him first to Kandahar and then to Guantánamo Bay.
In Guantánamo Kid, Jérôme Tubiana and Alexandre Franc tell the eye-opening, heart-wrenching story of one of Guantánamo's youngest detainees. Written in collaboration with Mohammed El-Gharani, Guantánamo Kid reflects as closely as possible his memories and experiences of life in the camp.
APPEARED ON BEST OF THE YEAR LISTS FROM NPR, WASHINGTON POST, PASTE, AND MORE!
How does one survive when all hope is lost?
In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, André was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world. Close to twenty years later, award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle (Pyongyang, Jerusalem, Shenzhen, Burma Chronicles) recounts André’s harrowing experience in Hostage, a book that attests to the power of one man’s determination in the face of a hopeless situation.
Marking a departure from the author’s celebrated first-person travelogues, Delisle tells the story through the perspective of the titular captive, who strives to keep his mind alert as desperation starts to set in. Working in a pared down style with muted color washes, Delisle conveys the psychological effects of solitary confinement, compelling us to ask ourselves some difficult questions regarding the repercussions of negotiating with kidnappers and what it really means to be free. Thoughtful, intense, and moving, Hostage takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments.
The Refugee Experience
The Ungrateful Refugee
A Finalist for the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction
"Nayeri combines her own experience with those of refugees she meets as an adult, telling their stories with tenderness and reverence." --The New York Times Book Review
"Nayeri weaves her empowering personal story with those of the 'feared swarms' . . . Her family's escape from Isfahan to Oklahoma, which involved waiting in Dubai and Italy, is wildly fascinating . . . Using energetic prose, Nayeri is an excellent conduit for these heart-rending stories, eschewing judgment and employing care in threading the stories in with her own . . . This is a memoir laced with stimulus and plenty of heart at a time when the latter has grown elusive." --Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)
Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned-refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. In these pages, a couple fall in love over the phone, and women gather to prepare the noodles that remind them of home. A closeted queer man tries to make his case truthfully as he seeks asylum, and a translator attempts to help new arrivals present their stories to officials.
Nayeri confronts notions like "the swarm," and, on the other hand, "good" immigrants. She calls attention to the harmful way in which Western governments privilege certain dangers over others. With surprising and provocative questions, The Ungrateful Refugee challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis.
"A writer who confronts issues that are key to the refugee experience." --Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees
A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea
"Urgently required reading." —People
"Deeply affecting... Fleming brings a moral urgency to the narrative." —The New Yorker
"Fleming deftly illustrates the pain of those who choose to leave Syria...and her book is ultimately a story of hope." —Newsweek
Adrift in a frigid sea, no land in sight, just debris from the ship's wreckage and floating corpses all around, nineteen-year-old Doaa Al Zamel stays afloat on a small inflatable ring and clutches two little girls—barely toddlers—to her body. The children had been thrust into Doaa's arms by their drowning relatives, all refugees who boarded a dangerously overcrowded ship bound for Italy and a new life. For days as Doaa drifts, she prays for rescue and sings to the babies in her arms. She must stay alive for them. She must not lose hope.
A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea chronicles the life of Doaa, a Syrian girl whose life was upended in 2011 by the onset of her country's brutal civil war. Doaa and her fiance, Bassem, decide to flee to Europe to seek safety and an education, but four days after setting sail on a smuggler's dilapidated fishing vessel along with five hundred other refugees, their boat is struck and begins to sink. This is the moment when Doaa's struggle for survival really begins.
This emotionally charged, eye-opening true story that represents the millions of unheard voices of refugees who risk everything in a desperate search for the promise of a safe future. In the midst of the most pressing international humanitarian crisis of our time, Melissa Fleming paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of the triiumph of the human spirit.
The Fox Hunt
"A gripping account of terror and escape.” — New York Times Book Review
The Fox Hunt tells one young man’s unforgettable story of his harrowing escape from Yemen's brutal civial war with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West.
A 2019 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARDS FINALIST
Born in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.
Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.
Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.
The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.
The Pianist from Syria
An astonishing but true account of a pianist’s escape from war-torn Syria to Germany offers a deeply personal perspective on the most devastating refugee crisis of this century.
Aeham Ahmad was born a second-generation refugee—the son of a blind violinist and carpenter who recognized Aeham's talent and taught him how to play piano and love music from an early age.
When his grandparents and father were forced to flee Israel and seek refuge from the Israeli–Palestinian conflict ravaging their home, Aeham’s family built a life in Yarmouk, an unofficial camp to more than 160,000 Palestinian refugees in Damascus. They raised a new generation in Syria while waiting for the conflict to be resolved so they could return to their homeland. Instead, another fight overtook their asylum. Their only haven was in music and in each other.
Forced to leave his family behind, Aeham sought out a safe place for them to call home and build a better life, taking solace in the indestructible bond between fathers and sons to keep moving forward. Heart-wrenching yet ultimately full of hope, and told in a raw and poignant voice, The Pianist from Syria is a gripping portrait of one man’s search for a peaceful life for his family and of a country being torn apart as the world watches in horror.
This Land Is Our Land
A 2019 NPR Staff Pick
“Written ‘in sorrow and anger,’ this is a brilliant and urgently necessary book, eloquently making the case against bigotry and for all of us migrants—what we are not, who we are, and why we deserve to be welcomed, not feared.” —Salman Rushdie
A timely argument for why the United States and the West would benefit from accepting more immigrants
There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. But do we really understand it? In This Land Is Our Land, the renowned author Suketu Mehta attacks the issue head-on. Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City and on years of reporting around the world, Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. As he explains, the West is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. Mehta juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of laborers, nannies, and others, from Dubai to Queens, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before. As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous. But Mehta also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swaths of the world: When today’s immigrants are asked, “Why are you here?” they can justly respond, “We are here because you were there.” And now that they are here, as Mehta demonstrates, immigrants bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish. Impassioned, rigorous, and richly stocked with memorable stories and characters, This Land Is Our Land is a timely and necessary intervention, and a literary polemic of the highest order.
What They Meant for Evil
Many stories have been told about the famous Lost Boys but now, for the first time, a Lost Girl shares her hauntingly beautiful and inspiring story.
One of the first unaccompanied refugee children to enter the United States in 2000, after South Sudan's second civil war took the lives of most of her family, Rebecca's story begins in the late 1980s when, at the age of four, her village was attacked and she had to escape. What They Meant for Evil is the account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and purity of a child, Rebecca recalls how she endured fleeing from gunfire, suffering through hunger and strength-sapping illnesses, dodging life-threatening predators-lions, snakes, crocodiles, and soldiers alike-that dogged her footsteps, and grappling with a war that stole her childhood.
Her story is a lyrical, captivating portrait of a child hurled into wartime, and how through divine intervention, she came to America and found a new life full of joy, hope, and redemption.
Return to the Reich
The remarkable story of Fred Mayer, a German-born Jew who escaped Nazi Germany only to return as an American commando on a secret mission behind enemy lines.
Growing up in Germany, Freddy Mayer witnessed the Nazis' rise to power. When he was sixteen, his family made the decision to flee to the United States—they were among the last German Jews to escape, in 1938.
In America, Freddy tried enlisting the day after Pearl Harbor, only to be rejected as an “enemy alien” because he was German. He was soon recruited to the OSS, the country’s first spy outfit before the CIA. Freddy, joined by Dutch Jewish refugee Hans Wynberg and Nazi defector Franz Weber, parachuted into Austria as the leader of Operation Greenup, meant to deter Hitler’s last stand. He posed as a Nazi officer and a French POW for months, dispatching reports to the OSS via Hans, holed up with a radio in a nearby attic. The reports contained a goldmine of information, provided key intelligence about the Battle of the Bulge, and allowed the Allies to bomb twenty Nazi trains. On the verge of the Allied victory, Freddy was captured by the Gestapo and tortured and waterboarded for days. Remarkably, he persuaded the Nazi commander for the region to surrender, completing one of the most successful OSS missions of the war.
Based on years of research and interviews with Mayer himself, whom the author was able to meet only months before his death at the age of ninety-four, Return to the Reich is an eye-opening, unforgettable narrative of World War II heroism.
In Order to Live
"I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea."
Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape.
Park's family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country's dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China.
I wasn't dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn't even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die--from starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearab≤ I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since.
Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life. By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, "I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest."
In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea--and to freedom.
Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know--and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country.
Park's testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.
When the Moon Is Low
Mahmoud's passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.
Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.
Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe's capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.
The Night Diary
A 2019 NEWBERY HONOR BOOK
"A gripping, nuanced story of the human cost of conflict appropriate for both children and adults."
-Kirkus, starred review
In the vein of Inside Out and Back Again and The War That Saved My Life comes a poignant, personal, and hopeful tale of India's partition, and of one girl's journey to find a new home in a divided country
It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.
Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can't imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.
Told through Nisha's letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl's search for home, for her own identity...and for a hopeful future.
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
A powerful novel of refugees escaping from war-torn Syria, masterfully told by a journalist who witnessed the crisis firsthand.
In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family . . . until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future. Tareq's family knows that to continue to stay alive, they must leave. As they travel as refugees from Syria to Turkey to Greece, facing danger at every turn, Tareq must find the resilience and courage to complete his harrowing journey.
While this is one family's story, it is also the timeless tale of the heartbreaking consequences of all wars, all tragedy, narrated by Destiny itself. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss.
An award-winning author and journalist--and a refugee herself--Atia Abawi captures the hope that spurs people forward against all odds and the love that makes that hope grow.
Praise for A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
Featured on NPR's Morning Edition!
Featured by Dana Perino's on The Five!
Featured as a most-anticipated book of 2018 on The Huffington Post!
"[A] heartbreaking and to-the-minute timely story of the Syrian refugee crisis. Abawi gives even more humanity, depth, and understanding to the headlines."--Bustle
★ "From award-winning journalist Abawi comes an unforgettable novel that brings readers face to face with the global refugee crisis . . . A heartbreaking, haunting, and necessary story that offers hope while laying bare the bleakness of the world."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ "Abawi skillfully places humanity enmeshed in war into two sides: the 'hunters' who feed on the suffering and the 'helpers' who lend a hand. An inspiring, timely, and must-have account about the Syrian refugee disaster and the perils of all wars."--School Library Journal, starred review
★ "[A] gripping and heartrending novel . . . [and an] upsetting yet beautifully rendered portrayal of an ongoing humanitarian crisis."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"As author Atia Abawi artfully illustrates, refugees are created by circumstances that can happen anywhere. A perfect companion novel to Alan Gratz's Refugee, this humanizing, often harrowing and sometimes transcendent novel fosters compassion and understanding."--BookPage, Top Teen Pick
"[T]his could be paired with Sepetys' book . . . Salt to the Sea, for a multi-era look at the casualties of war."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This is a harrowing and vitally important novel about an ongoing crisis. Tareq's story will linger with readers long after they've turned the final page."--Bookish
"A Land of Permanent Goodbyes is an engrossing, heartbreaking story of survival, giving readers an authentic glimpse of the suffering and destruction in Syria."--Voice of Youth Advocates
"A well-written, well-researched book."--School Library Connection
"This touching read will stir empathy and compassion about the harrowing plight of refugees. Abawi . . . helps give perspective on how religion can be used to help create a world where the most basic human rights are violated."--Booklist
The Map of Salt and Stars
This powerful and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and an adventurous mapmaker’s apprentice—“perfectly aligns with the cultural moment” (The Providence Journal) and “shows how interconnected two supposedly opposing worlds can be” (The New York Times Book Review).
This “beguiling” (Seattle Times) and stunning novel begins in the summer of 2011. Nour has just lost her father to cancer, and her mother moves Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. In order to keep her father’s spirit alive as she adjusts to her new home, Nour tells herself their favorite story—the tale of Rawiya, a twelfth-century girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to apprentice herself to a famous mapmaker.
But the Syria Nour’s parents knew is changing, and it isn’t long before the war reaches their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety—along the very route Rawiya and her mapmaker took eight hundred years before in their quest to chart the world. As Nour’s family decides to take the risk, their journey becomes more and more dangerous, until they face a choice that could mean the family will be separated forever.
Following alternating timelines and a pair of unforgettable heroines coming of age in perilous times, The Map of Salt and Stars is the “magical and heart-wrenching” (Christian Science Monitor) story of one girl telling herself the legend of another and learning that, if you listen to your own voice, some things can never be lost.
Viet Thanh Nguyen'sThe Sympathizer was one of the most widely and highly praised novels of 2015, the winner not only of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but also the Center for Fiction Debut Novel Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the ALA Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the California Book Award for First Fiction. Nguyen's next fiction book,The Refugees, is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.
With the coruscating gaze that informedThe Sympathizer, inThe Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. The second piece of fiction by a major new voice in American letters,The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.
WINNER 2013 – National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction
LONGLISTED 2015 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
A searing new novel, at once sweeping and intimate, by the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun: a story of love and race centered around a man and woman from Nigeria who seemed destined to be together--until the choices they are forced to make tear them apart.
Ifemelu--beautiful, self-assured--left Nigeria 15 years ago, and now studies in Princeton as a Graduate Fellow. She seems to have fulfilled every immigrant's dream: Ivy League education; success as a writer of a wildly popular political blog; money for the things she needs. But what came before is more like a nightmare: wrenching departure from family; humiliating jobs under a false name. She feels for the first time the weight of something she didn't think about back home: race.
Obinze--handsome and kind-hearted--was Ifemelu's teenage love; he'd hoped to join her in America, but post 9/11 America wouldn't let him in. Obinze's journey leads him to back alleys of illegal employment in London; to a fake marriage for the sake of a work card, and finally, to a set of handcuffs as he is exposed and deported.
Years later, when they reunite in Nigeria, neither is the same person who left home. Obinze is the kind of successful "Big Man" he'd scorned in his youth, and Ifemelu has become an "Americanah"--a different version of her former self, one with a new accent and attitude. As they revisit their shared passion--for their homeland and for each other--they must face the largest challenges of their lives.
Spanning three continents, entering the lives of a richly drawn cast of characters across numerous divides, Americanah is a riveting story of love and expectation set in today's globalized world.
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE
10 BEST BOOKS OF 2017, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
WINNER OF THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION and THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE
"A breathtaking novel...[that] arrives at an urgent time." --NPR
"It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future... At once terrifying and ... oddly hopeful." --Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review
"Moving, audacious, and indelibly human." --Entertainment Weekly, "A" rating
A New York Times bestseller, the astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .
Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.