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Human Rights Book Club
The Advocates for Human Rights is pleased to announce its new book club, focused on great books with human rights themes. We hope that you can join us every other month for great conversation about books and human rights around the globe.

Our next Book Club meeting will be on April 30, 2010. Click on the links below for dates and more information for each book. Book discussions are brown bag lunches, held every other month on Fridays over the noon hour in the offices of Fredrikson & Byron at 200 Sixth Ave. So, 40th Floor, Minneapolis, 55402.  Call 612-341-3302 for more information or complete your RSVP online.


1. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi

Download Book 1 Handout

2. The Daughter of L'Arsenal, by Jacqueline Regis  

Download Book 2 Handout

3. The Latehomecomer, by Kao Kalia Yang

4. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz

5. The House at Sugar Beach, by Helene Cooper

6. Stones into Schools, by Greg Mortenson

Reading Lolita in Tehran, Friday, February 26, Noon
by Azar Nafisi
Book 1Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azar Nafisi, a bold and inspired teacher, secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, as fundamentalists seized hold of the universities and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the women in Nafisi's living room spoke not only of the books they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Azar Nafisi's luminous masterwork gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women's lives in revolutionary Iran.
Azar Nafisi will join The Advocates in May 2010 as the keynote speaker at the organization's annual Human Rights Award Dinner. Stay tuned for details about our upcoming event with this inspiring author and advocate. 
The Daughter of L'Arsenal, Friday, April 30, Noon 
by Jacqueline Regis
Book 1The Daughter of L'Arsenal is the story of a young woman who escapes a web of dysfunctional family values and social and political repression in rural Haiti to become a successful corporate lawyer in the US. The memoir chronicles the narrator's childhood experiences leading to her ultimate flight from the claws of poverty, servitude, violence and death. Her escape comes at a cost: In order to survive, she must permanently leave her family and much of her cultural heritage behind.
Jacqueline Regis, currently on the board of The Advocates for Human Rights, will join the group for discussion of her book, the current crisis in Haiti, and the long history of human rights concerns in her native country.
The Latehomecomer, Friday, June 25, Noon
by Kao Kalia Yang
Book 3 coverIn search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America, but their history remains largely unknown. When she was six years old, the author's family immigrated to America and she ultimately attended Carelton College and Columbia University. Driven to share her family's story after her grandmother's death, Kao Kalia Yang's memoir is a tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together. She evocatively captures the challenges of adapting to a new place and a new language, and also gives voice to the dreams, wisdom, and traditions passed down from her grandmother and shared by an entire community.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Friday, August 27, Noon
by Junot Díaz
Book 4 cover
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao tells the story of Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú-the ancient curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and ill-starred romance. Oscar, still dreaming of his first kiss, is only its most recent victim-until the fateful summer that he decides to be its last. With dazzling energy and insight, Junot Díaz immerses us in the uproarious lives of our hero Oscar, his runaway sister Lola, and their ferocious mother Belicia, and in the family's epic journey from Santo Domingo to New York City's Washington Heights to New Jersey's Bergenline and back again. Rendered with uncommon warmth and humor, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and the endless human capacity to persevere-and to risk it all-in the name of love.
The House at Sugar Beach, Friday, October 29, Noon 
by Helene Cooper
Book 5 coverFor years the Cooper daughters -- Helene, her sister Marlene, and Eunice -- blissfully enjoyed the trappings of wealth and advantage in the West African nation of Liberia. But on April 12, 1980 a group of soldiers staged a coup d'etat, assassinating Liberian President William Tolbert and executing his cabinet. The Coopers and the entire Congo class were now the hunted, being imprisoned, shot, tortured, and raped. Helene, Marlene, and their mother fled Sugar Beach for America. They left Eunice behind. A world away, Helene tried to assimilate as an American and discovered her passion in journalism, eventually becoming a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She reported from every part of the globe -- except Africa -- as Liberia descended into war-torn, third-world hell. In 2003, a near-death experience in Iraq convinced Helene that Liberia -- and Eunice -- could wait no longer. At once a deeply personal memoir and an examination of a violent and stratified country to which her own family is inextricably linked, The House At Sugar Beach is the story of Helene Cooper's long voyage home.
Stones into Schools, Friday, December 17, Noon 
by Greg Mortenson
Book 6 CoverOver the past sixteen years, Greg Mortenson, through his nonprofit Central Asia Institute (CAI), has worked to promote peace through education by establishing more than 130 schools, most of them for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The story of how this remarkable humanitarian campaign began was told in his bestselling 2006 book, Three Cups of Tea. Just as Three Cups of Tea began with a promise-to build a school in Korphe, Pakistan-so too does Mortenson's new book. In 1999, Kirghiz horsemen from Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor rode into Pakistan and secured a promise from Mortenson to construct a school in an isolated pocket of the Pamir Mountains known as Bozai Gumbad. Mortenson could not build that school before constructing many others, and that is the story he tells in this dramatic new book.
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