Meet actor, playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar, a first generation Pakistani-American born in the United States. He holds degrees in Theater from Brown University and in Directing from the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University, where he won multiple awards for his work. He is the author of numerous screenplays and was star and co-writer of The War Within, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and an International Press Academy Satellite Award for Best Picture, Drama. American Dervish (Little, Brown & Co., $14.99) is his first novel, now available in paperback. This is an intimate, personal first novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page: Mina is Hayat Shah's mother's oldest friend from Pakistan. She is independent, beautiful and intelligent, and arrives on the Shah's doorstep when her disastrous marriage disintegrates. Her deep spirituality brings the family's Muslim faith to life in a way that resonates with Hayat as nothing has before. When Mina meets and begins dating a man, Hayat is confused by his feelings of betrayal. His growing passions, both spiritual and romantic, force him to question all that he has come to believe is true.
Dr. Mark Juergensmeyer, expert on religious violence, will address the question: "Why has the turn of the twenty-first century been rocked by a new religious rebellion?" From al Qaeda to Christian militias to insurgents in Iraq, a strident new religious activism has seized the imaginations of political rebels around the world. With his new book, Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, Juergensmeyer provides an up-to-date road map through this complex new religious terrain. Juergensmeyer is the director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies and professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published more than two hundred articles and twenty books. His widely-read Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence was listed by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. Dr. Juergensmeyer's lecture is open to the public free of charge. Registration is required. For more information and to register please click here. Presented by the University of Miami Center for the Humanities in collaboration with Books & Books.
Lani Nash, a notable singer songwriter known for her poignantly beautiful writing and vocals that linger with a genuine heartfelt quality, moves audiences of all ages. Her musical start came before she was born. Lani’s grandfather, Connie Crunk (stage name Connie Conway), a noted musician, singer, songwriter, music teacher, and producer worked with producer Lee Hazelwood and was a great inspiration for her. Her mother and her aunt, daughters of Connie Crunk, were in a recording singing group called “The Three Teens” as teenagers. Lani has performed, written, produced and released four albums to date and is currently signed to Uh Uh Records, with Steve Durr who co-produced her most recent record “I’m Only Here for the Music” which hit the top 40 on the AMA charts.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz's first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer with "the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet" (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was named #1 Fiction Book of the Year" by Time magazine and spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing itself – with more than a million copies in print – as a modern classic.
Now Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. The stories in This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead, $26.95), by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that "love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever."
FREE tickets available at our Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and Bal Harbour Shops stores.
In Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti, a path-breaking book, Jeb Sprague investigates the dangerous world of right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti and its role in undermining the democratic aspirations of the Haitian people. Sprague focuses on the period beginning in 1990 with the rise of Haiti's first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the right-wing movements that succeeded in driving him from power. Over the ensuing two decades, paramilitary violence was largely directed against the poor and supporters of Aristide's Lavalas movement, taking the lives of thousands of Haitians. It makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of Haiti today, and is a vivid reminder of how democratic struggles in poor countries are often met with extreme violence organized at the behest of capital.
Beanie and the Bully by Deon Davis is a book for elementary school age children. The book represents a safe way of solving confrontations when confronted by a bully. In this book Beanie presents herself as a powerful young girl that has the powers of changing the mind and heart of a bully, Beanie also gives tips and advice on how to handle a bullying situation. Bullying destroys the development of a successful childhood in school and at home. It creates and contributes to low self-esteem, depression, isolation and even suicide. No child should live in fear, if we all help Beanie prevent bullying at an early age, we all succeed.
In this powerful and culminating work about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, Jonathan Kozol returns to the scene of his prize-winning books Rachel and Her Children and Amazing Grace, and to the children he has vividly portrayed, to share with us their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood.
For nearly fifty years, Jonathan has pricked the conscience of his readers by laying bare the savage inequalities inflicted upon children for no reason but the accident of being born to poverty within a wealthy nation. A winner of the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and countless other honors, he has persistently crossed the lines of class and race, first as a teacher, then as the author of tender and heart-breaking books about the children he has called “the outcasts of our nation’s ingenuity.” But Jonathan is not a distant and detached reporter. His own life has been radically transformed by the children who have trusted and befriended him.
"I had no nation but the imagination," Derek Walcott famously wrote nearly forty years ago. As Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago celebrate fifty years of Independence, how are the imaginations of today's Caribbean writers shaping the futures of our real nations? Writers of different generations reflect on this question through readings from their own works, in Nations and Imaginations: An Evening with the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago's annual literary festival. Featuring 2012 OCM Bocas Prize winner Earl Lovelace, Edwidge Danticat, Olive Senior, Edward Baugh, and Lisa Allen-Agostini; hosted by NGC Bocas Lit Fest programme director Nicholas Laughlin and presented in collaboration with the University of Miami.