The Advocates for Human Rights’ Book Club has announced its 2010 lineup of events at its offices, 650 – 3rd Avenue South #1240, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Starting today, February 26, there will be a Reading of Lolita in Tehran by author Azar Nafisi at noon, followed by a discussion led by Robin Phillips, executive director, The Advocates for Human Rights.
Bring your lunch and join the discussion about women’s rights and human rights in Iran and learn more about Azar Nafisi, keynote speaker for The Advocates’ 2010 Human Rights Award Dinner on May 20.
The 2010 Schedule includes:
• Feb. 26 – Reading Lolita in Tehran
• April 30 – Daughter of L’Arsenal
• June 25 – Latehomecomer
• Aug. 27 – Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
• Oct. 29 – House at Sugar Beach
• Dec. 17 – Stones into Schools
The Daughter of L’Arsenal from author Jacqueline Regis, is the story of a young woman who escapes a web of dysfunctional family values and social and political repression in rural Haiti to become a successful corporate lawyer in the United States.
The memoir chronicles the narrator’s childhood experiences leading to her ultimate flight from the claws of poverty, servitude, violence and death. Her escape comes at a cost: In order to survive, she must permanently leave her family and much of her cultural heritage behind.
Jacqueline Regis, currently on the board of The Advocates for Human Rights, will join the group for discussion of her book, the current crisis in Haiti, and the long history of human rights concerns in her native country.
The Latehomecomer from local author Kao Kalia Yang is the search of a place to call home. Thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America, but their history remains largely unknown.
When she was six years old, the author’s family immigrated to America and she ultimately attended Carelton College and Columbia University. Driven to share her family’s story after her grandmother’s death, Kao Kalia Yang’s memoir is a tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together.
She evocatively captures the challenges of adapting to a new place and a new language, and also gives voice to the dreams, wisdom, and traditions passed down from her grandmother and shared by an entire community.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao from author Junot Díaz, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, in telling the story of Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú-the ancient curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and ill-starred romance.
Oscar, still dreaming of his first kiss, is only its most recent victim-until the fateful summer that he decides to be its last. With dazzling energy and insight, Junot Díaz immerses us in the uproarious lives of our hero Oscar, his runaway sister Lola, and their ferocious mother Belicia, and in the family’s epic journey from Santo Domingo to New York City’s Washington Heights to New Jersey’s Bergenline and back again.
Rendered with uncommon warmth and humor, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and the endless human capacity to persevere-and to risk it all-in the name of love.
The House at Sugar Beach from author Helene Cooper is the story of the Cooper daughters, Helene, Marlene and Eunice, who for years blissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage in the West African nation of Liberia.
But on April 12, 1980 a group of soldiers staged a coup d’etat, assassinating Liberian President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet. The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted, being imprisoned, shot, tortured, and raped.
Helene, Marlene, and their mother fled Sugar Beach for America. They left Eunice behind. A world away, Helene tried to assimilate as an American and discovered her passion in journalism, eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She reported from every part of the globe – except Africa – as Liberia descended into war-torn, third-world hell.
In 2003, a near-death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberia – and Eunice – could wait no longer. At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country to which her own family is inextricably linked, The House At Sugar Beach is the story of Helene Cooper’s long voyage home.
Stones into Schools from author Greg Mortenson follows 16 years of developing his nonprofit Central Asia Institute, to promote peace through education by establishing more than 130 schools, most of them for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The story of how this remarkable humanitarian campaign began was told in his bestselling 2006 book, Three Cups of Tea. Just as Three Cups of Tea began with a promise-to build a school in Korphe, Pakistan-so too does Mortenson’s new book.
In 1999, Kirghiz horsemen from Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor rode into Pakistan and secured a promise from Mortenson to construct a school in an isolated pocket of the Pamir Mountains known as Bozai Gumbad. Mortenson could not build that school before constructing many others, and that is the story he tells in this dramatic new book.
Please RSVP to [email protected] or call 612-341-3302 for more information and visit online at www.mnadvocates.org. The Advocates for Human Rights office is near the Government Center light rail stop. Parking is not provided parking and public transit is recommended.