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Bringing Books to the Desert

A boy reads at a Blumont library facility. Most books are nearly destroyed from overuse. Photo: Karen E. Fisher Deep in Jordan’s northern desert, in the refugee camp known as Zaatari, 76,000 Syrians live, work, pray, and—thanks to a campwide, refugee-run library system—read. In the low-resource, high-constraint environment of Zaatari, only about 82% of eligible […]

Newsmaker: Yaa Gyasi

Photo: Peter Hurley/Vilcek Foundation When it was published in 2016, Yaa Gyasi’s first novel Homegoing was lauded for its broad historical, geographical, and generational sweep, tracing a sprawling family tree back to two half-sisters in 18th-century Ghana. Transcendent Kingdom (Knopf, September) also explores the Ghanaian-American immigrant experience, this time through the eyes of a neuroscientist […]

Newsmaker: Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez Photo: Bill Eichner Like many Dominican-American writers of her generation, Julia Alvarez has drawn inspiration from the Dominican Republic’s history (such as the legacy of dictator Rafael Trujillo, in her novel In the Time of the Butterflies) and her experience as a newcomer in the US (How the García Girls Lost Their Accents). […]