The Book Cellar
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Ali Noorani will be at The Book Cellar to discuss his book There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration.
Noorani will be in converation with WBEZ reporter Odette Yousef.
About Ali Noorani:
Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, an advocacy organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration. Growing up in California as the son of Pakistani immigrants, Ali quickly learned how to forge alliances among people of wide-ranging backgrounds, a skill that has served him extraordinarily well as one of the nation’s most innovative coalition builders.
Before joining the Forum, Ali was executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and he has served in leadership roles within public health and environmental organizations.
In 2015, Ali was named a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Ali lives in Washington, D.C. and is the author of “There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration,” (Prometheus, April 2017).
About There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communitise Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration:
This compelling approach to the immigration debate takes the reader behind the blaring headlines and into communities grappling with the reality of new immigrants and the changing nature of American identity. Ali Noorani, the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, interviews nearly fifty local and national leaders from law enforcement, business, immigrant, and faith communities to illustrate the challenges and opportunities they face. From high school principals to church pastors to sheriffs, the author reveals that most people are working to advance society's interests, not exploiting a crisis at the expense of one community. As he shows, some cities and regions have reached a happy conclusion, while others struggle to find balance.
Whether describing a pastor preaching to the need to welcome the stranger, a sheriff engaging the Muslim community, or a farmer's wind-whipped face moistened by tears as he tells the story of his farmworkers being deported, the author helps readers to realize that America's immigration debate isn't about policy; it is about the culture and values that make America what it is. The people on the front lines of America's cultural and demographic debate are Southern Baptist pastors in South Carolina, attorneys general in Utah or Indiana, Texas businessmen, and many more. Their combined voices make clear that all of them are working to make America a welcome place for everyone, long-established citizens and new arrivals alike.
Especially now, when we feel our identity, culture, and values changing shape, the collective message from all the diverse voices in this inspiring book is one of hope for the future.
About Odette Yousef:
Odette Yousef is WBEZ's North Side reporter. Prior to WBEZ, she worked as a General Assignment reporter at WABE an NPR member station in Atlanta, Georgia. She also was an Editorial Assistant for NPR’s Talk of the Nation in Washington, DC. Odette has a B.A. from Harvard University in Economics and East Asian Studies and she has won numerous awards, including a Lisagor Award, Edward R. Murrow and the Atlanta Press Club’s Radio Journalist of the Year.
Join us at The Book Cellar to celebrate the launch of Benjamin Ludwig's debut novel, Ginny Moon!
About Benjamin Ludwig:
A life-long teacher of English and writing, Benjamin Ludwig lives in New Hampshire with his family. He holds an MAT in English Education and an MFA in Writing. Shortly after he and his wife married they became foster parents and adopted a teenager with autism. Ginny Moon is his first novel, which was inspired in part by his conversations with other parents at Special Olympics basketball practices.
About Ginny Moon:
Meet Ginny Moon. She's mostly your average teenager. She plays flute in the high school band, has weekly basketball practice, and reads Robert Frost poems in English class. But Ginny is autistic. And so what's important to her might seem a bit...different: starting every day with exactly nine grapes for breakfast, Michael Jackson, her baby doll, and crafting a secret plan of escape. After being traumatically taken from her abusive birth mother and moved around to different homes, Ginny has finally found her forever home - a safe place with parents who will love and nurture her. This is exactly what all foster kids are hoping for, right? But Ginny has other plans. She'll steal and lie and exploit the good intentions of those who love her - anything it takes to get back what's missing in her life. She'll even try to get herself kidnapped. Told in an extraordinary and wholly original voice, Ginny Moon is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, and poignant. It's a story about being an outsider trying to find a place to belong and about making sense of a world that just doesn't seem to add up. Taking you into the mind of a curious and deeply human character, Benjamin Ludwig's novel affirms that fiction has the power to change the way we see the world.
The Desi Lit Book Group meets to discuss their May pick, Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag.
The Book Cellar Book Club meets to discuss their May pick, Lamb by Christopher Moore
Afterwords Book Club meets to discuss their May pick, Difficult Women, by Roxane Gay.
Writer's Studio Reading Featuring Mary Fons & Paul McComas
Thursday, May 4, 6:30-8
Join the University of Chicago Writer's Studio for an evening of fun and community as we celebrate the work of instructors Mary Fons and Paul McComas and graduating certificate students Gwenda Blair & John Hamilton! We're excited to get together at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square for stories and inspiration. We hope to see you there!
Mary Fons is a nationally-ranked slam poet; proud Neo-Futurist; founding editor of Quilty; and co-host of Love of Quilting. Mary’s publications include Make + Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century; and essays in the Write Club Anthology and Madonna & Me. See more at MaryFons.com.
Paul McComas is the author of two novels and two short-story collections, and the co-author of a novella, a short-plays collection, an in-process scholarly film book, and—with Maya Kuper—the alt-rock musical “Unplugged”: A Survivor's Story in Scenes & Songs. He has won teaching awards from Northwestern (in continuing ed) and National-Louis universities.