Join us for the next meeting 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.
For our sixth meeting, on Saturday, December 16th at 3 pm, we're reading the Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed. Coffee and snacks will be provided!
This will be our second-to-last meeting, finishing the series with Yemen 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!
The Books from Banned Lands reading group will meet on the third Saturday of every month at 3:00 pm, on the following schedule.
Saturday, July 29: SYRIA
Damascus Nights, by Rafik Schami
Saturday, August 19: IRAQ
A Sky So Close, by Betool Khedairi
Saturday, September 23: LIBYA
In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar
Saturday, October 21: IRAN
Sin, by Forough Farrokhzad
Saturday, November 18: SUDAN
Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih
Saturday, December 16 (earlier for the holidays): SOMALIA
Black Mamba Boy, by Nadifa Mohamed
Saturday, January 20 (One year since the Executive Order!): YEMEN
They Die Strangers, by Mohammad Abdul-Wali
All books will be available in advance at the Penn Book Center.
British-Somali novelist Nadifa Mohamed is the author of Black Mamba Boy – which won the 2010 Betty Trask prize from the Society of Authors – and Orchard of Lost Souls, which won the Somerset Maugham prize. She featured on Granta magazine's list "Best of Young British Novelists" in 2013, and in 2014 on the Africa39 list of writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define future trends in African literature. An Oxford graduate in history and politics, she has been a writer for The Guardian since 2012.
Black Mamba Boy (2009) is a semi-autobiographical account of Nadifa's father's life in Yemen in the 1930s and 40s, during the colonial period. It also recounts his trek through Sudan, Egypt, Palestine and the Mediterranean, before eventually settling in the United Kingdom. The novel won the 2010 Betty Trask Award, and was short-listed for numerous awards, including the 2010 Guardian First Book Award, the 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize, and the 2010 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. The book was also long-listed for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.