NEW DATE! July 29: Books from Banned Lands — Syria
We are excited to announce the launch of our new reading group, Books from Banned Lands, which will read contemporary literature (in English translations) from the seven Middle Eastern and North African countries targeted by the “Muslim ban” executive order of January 2017.
Starting with Rafik Schami's Damascus Nights representing Syria, we'll read books from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, finishing the series around the one-year anniversary of the attempted ban. This reading group comes out of a desire to do something, specifically as a bookstore, to resist the dehumanization of refugees, immigrants, Arabs, Arabic-speakers, and Muslims in the United States. All readers are welcome for any and all of the meetings!
About Damascus Nights, from publisher Interlink Books:
«In the classical Arab tradition of tale-telling, here is a magical book that celebrates the power of storytelling, delightfully transformed for modern sensibilities by an award-winning author. The time is present-day Damascus, and Salim the coachman, the city's most famous storyteller, is mysteriously struck dumb. To break the spell, seven friends gather for seven nights to present Salim with seven wondrous „gifts“—seven stories of their own design. Upon this enchanting frame of tales told in the fragrant Arabian night, the words of the past grow fainter, as ancient customs are yielding to modern turmoil. While the hairdresser, the teacher, the wife of the locksmith sip their tea and pass the water pipe, they swap stories about the magical and the mundane: about djinnis and princesses, about contemporary politics and the difficulties of bargaining in a New York department store. And as one tale leads to another… and another… all of Damascus appears before your eyes, along with a vision of storytelling—and talk—as the essence of friendship, of community, of life.»