refugee

The dispossession and forced migration of nearly 50 per cent of Syria's population has produced the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. "Syria: The Making and Unmaking of a Refuge State" by Dawn Chatty places the current displacement within the context of the widespread migrations that have indelibly marked the region throughout the last 150 years. Syria itself has harbored millions from its neighboring lands, and Syrian society has been shaped by these diasporas.

Dawn Chatty is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration and former Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Department of International Development, Oxford University and the author of "Displacement and Dispossession in the Modern Middle East" and "From Camel to Truck."

Book Cover for "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" and author photo of Ocean Vuong
Author photo by Tom Hines

Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, “On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling written as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. 

In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, “500-year” storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually. This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

In "The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming," David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await: food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe.

David Wallace-Wells is a national fellow at the New America foundation and a columnist and deputy editor at New York magazine.

Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar and book cover "The Map of Salt and Stars"
Neha Gautam

“The Map of Salt and Stars” is the debut novel by Syrian American writer Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar. It is the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart: a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker, showing the pain of exile and the triumph of courage. 

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is a successful restaurateur, the author of many best-selling cookbooks, and the Emmy award-winning host of public television's "Lidia's Kitchen," which also airs internationally. She is also a judge on MasterChef Junior Italy and Italy's highly rated daily program "La Prova del Cuoco." 

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security, despite the family's poverty, learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States -- an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life.

Her new memoir is "My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food."

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive. 

In "The Girl Who Smiled Beads," Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.