Literature from Around the World

Global Literature: Israel, Dhaka, & The Frozen North

Thursday, Oct. 11,1:30 p.m.
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza

Cheuse Center Director Matt Davis facilitates a panel of authors with novels set in different corners of the globe. The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg tackles jealousy, obsession, and revenge, as it shrewdly explores the gender expectations of men as lovers, as fathers, and as Israelis and Palestinians. Tiger Trails by Helena Thorfinn tells the story of a Swedish woman who once worked for the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and – after a recent terror attack – she has returned with her husband to continue her work in human rights. The Dictionary of Animal Languages by Heidi Sopinka details the life and work of a 90-year-old British woman who abandoned her love, her art, and her home in Paris during WWII to conduct research of animal languages in the “frozen North.”

From Poland to America: Essays and a Novel

Friday, Oct. 12, 1:30 p.m.
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza

A husband and wife presentation in the literature of immigration. In Objects of Affection, a collection of personal essays, Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough shares her experience of immigrating to America from Poland in 1984. With memories of living under a totalitarian regime, Hryniewicz-Yarbrough explores the immigrant’s creation of a new identity and double perspective in response to leaving one’s roots in search of a better future. Steve Yarbrough sets his novel The Unmade World in Poland, Ukraine, California, and New York with characters learning to live with grief, guilt, and the aftermath of violence such as the destruction of Luhansk, Ukraine while grappling with various political and cultural issues including the pressures on immigrants and refugees in all three countries.

 

Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award Ceremony

Thursday, Oct. 11, 6 p.m.
Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts

The three finalists for the inaugural Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award will each read from their books before the grand prize is awarded. Hernán Díaz is the author of the novel In the Distance, Elena Georgiou is the author of the story collection The Immigrant’s Refrigerator, and Renee Macalino Rutledge is the author of the novel The Hour of Daydreams. This post-publication book prize was created to recognize recently published works that illuminate the complexity of human experience as told by immigrants, whose work is historically underrepresented in writing and publishing. Helon Habila, Madeleine Thien, and Maaza Mengiste judged. When speaking about the prize, Habila said: “if America is a country of immigrants as it is often described, then the quintessential American literature would be the literature of immigration… Hopefully these new voices will make us step back and look at ourselves with new eyes, and new hope and new meaning.” Sponsored by the Institute for Immigration Research.

Beast: A Catalan Poet’s Exploration

Thursday, October 11, 1:30pm – 2:45pm
Center for the Arts Lobby

Award-winning Catalan artist, poet and filmmaker Irene Solà’s debut poetry collection Beast was awarded the Amadeu Oller Poetry Prize. The Poetry Books Society calls it “a darkly imaged, startling and lyrically precise exploration of gender, identity, sexuality and multiple forms of desire.” Ben Rivers calls Beast “Sensuous, precise, and profoundly generous in their glimpses of strikingly private narratives, Sola’s poems feel perfectly placed for the strange heat of our times…”

Recovering Zimbabwe’s Legacy

Thursday, October 11, 12:00 p.m.
Johnson Center Room F, George Mason University

In this expansive project called Reading Zimbabwe, Tinashe Mushakavanhu constructs a national bibliography of his home country by collecting, cataloging, digitizing, and making available over the Internet information of as many Zimbabwean publications from the 1950s to the present as it is possible to identify and locate. Zimbabwe’s legacy of publishing is in clear danger of disappearing which has consequences on the quality of writing and education now available in the country.

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