Virtual: Carolyn's Book Club, "What Strange Paradise"
Join Us for a Deep Discussion of
What Strange Paradise
A PROFOUNDLY MOVING BOOK THAT LOOKS AT
THE GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD
Join Carolyn Brody, owner of BookHampton, and Roxanne Coady, owner of RJ Julia Booksellers, for a virtual book club style discussion of What Strange Paradise, by Omar El Akkad, author of the bestselling American War.
It is one thing to put a human face on a migrant crisis and another to do so in so compelling a way that a reader simply cannot put your book down.
— Gish Jen, author of The Resisters
More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another overfilled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives back in their homelands. But miraculously, someone has survived the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who is soon rescued by Vänna. Vänna is a teenage girl, who, despite being native to the island, experiences her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though Vänna and Amir are complete strangers, though they don’t speak a common language, Vänna is determined to do whatever it takes to save the boy.
In alternating chapters, we learn about Amir’s life and how he came to be on the boat, and we follow him and the girl as they make their way toward safety. What Strange Paradise is the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world. But it is also a story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair — and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.
Carolyn Brody, a longtime East Hampton, New York resident, fulfilled a childhood dream of owning a bookstore when she purchased BookHampton in 2016, continuing the wonderful 40-year legacy of the East End’s premier independent bookstore.
Roxanne J. Coady founded RJ Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut in 1989, creating a business that is recognized as a national leader among independent booksellers. In 2009, Coady founded a personalized book subscription site, Just the Right Book. This site has a national reach and combines the intimacy of an independent bookstore with the digital marketplace. In addition, Coady hosts a podcast available on iTunes, Just the Right Book, in which she interviews best-selling authors and people in the bookselling and publishing community.
Purchase a copy of What Strange Paradise to receive your invitation to the virtual event. Please note, this is not an author event and we cannot guarantee the author will be in attendance.