Join us on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, for a live-streamed program with Portland-based author and journalist Omar El Akkad. Booklist called his debut novel, American War, a "brilliantly well-crafted, profoundly shattering saga of one family's suffering in a world of brutal power struggles," and the writer David Means praised it as "a work of a singular, grand, brilliant imagination." In his most recent book, What Strange Paradise, El Akkad turns his attention to the Syrian refugee crisis, dramatizing the story of a 9-year-old boy named Amir Utu who unwittingly undertakes the turbulent journey from Egypt to Greece aboard a repurposed fishing boat. In chapters that alternate between Amir's harrowing, multi-day voyage and his fortunate encounter with a teenage islander, upon washing ashore, El Akkad braids together the strands of Amir's story, past and present, as they lead up to and move away from one fateful moment at sea.
This free event will broadcast live to the Library's YouTube channel starting at 6:30 pm.