Books

Stephen Hawking’s last warning from beyond the grave

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Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking’s last message to the universe is a plea for unity in the “isolated and insular” age of Brexit and Trump, and his fear that a “global revolt against experts” might get in the… Nick Miller msn Hawking’s family gathered at London’s Science Museum on Monday to launch his last book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, which he began but did not finish before his death in March, aged… With tears in her eyes, Lucy Hawking ... Read More »

The Unstable Identities of The Caregiver

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Samuel Park’s last novel explores how one person’s sense of self can be absorbed into another’s need. ROSA INOCENCIO SMITH The Atlantic The Caregiver BY SAMUEL PARK SIMON & SCHUSTER Samuel Park’s new novel, The Caregiver, is a study in fragility: that of bodies, of boundaries, and of identity itself. Centering on two relationships—a mother and her daughter, and the daughter and her patient—it explores the complex bonds between people who are linked by the need that one has for the… The Unstable Identities… Read More »

Housegirl Complicates the Diaspora Narrative

Housegirl 1a Pop Jop Getty Arsh Ruziuddin The Atlantic

The debut from the Ghanaian British author Michael Donkor explores the life of a domestic worker in London, while rejecting the common impulse to focus on more aspirational immigrant stories. Hannah Giorgis The Atlantic The Ghanaian British author Michael Donkor’s U.S. debut, Housegirl, is full of movement. The novel follows a 17-year-old domestic laborer named Belinda as she travels from Ghana to London. Before the start of the novel, Belinda has already journeyed from her home village to Kumasi, one of ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

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Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

The Real Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis

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The aftermath produced a lost decade for European economies and helped lead to the rise of anti-establishment political movements here and abroad. John Cassidy The New Yorker Audio: Listen to this article. To hear more, download the Audm iPhone app. September 15th marks the tenth anniversary of the demise of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, which presaged the biggest financial crisis and deepest economic recession since the nineteen-thirties. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy, and great swaths of the markets froze, ... Read More »

Under pressure govt backtracks on Atif Mian appointment; removes economist from advisory council

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The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has asked Princeton University economist Atif R. Mian to step down from the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Economic Advisory Council (EAC), PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan announced on Friday. Fahad Chaudhry Dawn The decision follows mounting pressure from religiopolitical partiesagainst the appointment of Dr Mian, who is an Ahmadi. According to a tweet by Senator Javed, Mian has agreed to give up his position on the council. A replacement will be announced later, he… Minister of ... Read More »

‘Sword and Scimitar’ Offers In-Depth Study of Landmark Battles Between Islam and the West

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..Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman recently interviewed Raymond Ibrahim, formerly the associate director of the Forum and currently the Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow. By Raymond Ibrahim Middle East Forum Ibrahim’s new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West—a featured selection of the History Book Club and current best seller in several Amazon categories—was released earlier this week and is… ‘Sword and Scimitar… Read More »

Book Review: Behrouz Boochani’s unsparing look at the brutality of Manus Island

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It is a matter of wonder that Behrouz Boochani was able to write No Friend but the Mountains at all. Alex Reilly The Conversation He did so while in Manus prison, using text messages in Farsi on smuggled mobile phones. Egyptian and Australian academic Omid Tofighian worked closely with Boochani to translate the text into English. In a detailed introduction to the book, Tofighian explains that Boochani’s writing contributes to a Kurdish literary tradition. He describes his style as “horror ... Read More »

Australia’s barbaric policy confronted by Boochani’s prison memoir

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Kurdish-Iranian journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani has been exiled on Manus Island since August 2013. Arnold Zable The Age He fled Iran in fear of his safety, as a result of his advocacy on behalf of Kurdish people. I was introduced to Boochani in late 2014. His acclaimed book No Friend but the Mountains was published on July 31. Arnold Zable: Behrouz, for years you have been defined as a refugee, and for a time, as a number – MEG 45 – reduced, as ... Read More »

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker review – a feminist Iliad

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This brilliant retelling of Homer’s epic poem focuses on the cost of war to women through the story of Briseis, Achilles’ concubine Emily Wilson The Guardian In The Iliad, a poem about the terrible destruction caused by male aggression, the bodies and pretty faces of women are the objects through which men struggle with each other for status. The women are not entirely silent, and goddesses always have plenty to say, but mortal women speak primarily to lament. They grieve ... Read More »

Robin DiAngelo on why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism

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Robin DiAngelo riles up a lot of white people. The American anti-racism educator teaches about an insidious and damaging form of racism that lurks in progressive people like herself: white privilege. ABC – RN – By Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live She believes many white people are unconscious of their privilege, but — often — that’s a message they don’t want a bar of. “For many white people the mere suggestion that being white has meaning will cause ... Read More »

Q&A: John Marsden says he would not have written the Tomorrow series today

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A string of questions centred around race relations and immigration were directed at a panel of authors on Q&A’s panel on Monday night. ABC On the desk with host Tony Jones were John Marsden, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Sofie Laguna, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Trent Dalton. Marsden was asked whether his Tomorrow series, starting with the 1993 novel Tomorrow When the War Began, helped raise a generation of Australians who feared foreign invasion. “I hope not,” Marsden said. “It was written ... Read More »

Kon Karapanagiotidis on the Shadow of Racism and ”The Power of Hope”

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Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM, founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre talks to Daily Review about his new book ‘The Power of Hope’. Fotis Kapetopoulos Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM is tired. He’s suffering a throat infection and has just returned from ten-day national book tour for The Power of Hope. Or How Community Love and Compassion can change the World.  “Yiasou mate… I’m running ragged… they’ve worn me out again,” he rasps over the phone.  Kon has decided to carry much on his ... Read More »

Europe Needs Its Own Charles de Gaulle

Gen, Charles de Gaulle leads a triumphant procession down Champs-Elysees as part of the celebration of the liberation of Paris. To the right of de Gaulle is General Jacques-Philippe Leclerc, Commander of the French Armored Division. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

There’s nothing wrong with today’s European Union that France’s legendary 20th-century leader didn’t see coming—and didn’t try to fix when he had the chance. Βy Bruno Maçães FP Julian Jackson’s new biography of Charles de Gaulle is a gripping and enlightening reflection on political power and its mysteries. The book fulfills the minimum requirements, of course, by recounting the major events of de Gaulle’s life: his heroic service in World War I, his prescient warnings in the interwar years about ... Read More »

Truth to power: my time translating Behrouz Boochani’s masterpiece

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The GM picks me up from the airport. I call him the GM because after the PNG Supreme Court ruled the Manus Island immigration detention centre illegal, this man was able to leave the prison and… Omid Tofighian The Conversation Behrouz Boochani has arranged for me to stay at that lodge. The GM’s Manusian colleague and another refugee accompany him. Driving into town we see police blocking part of the road beside a school; some locals are dispersing, others are ... Read More »

How the moral lessons of To Kill a Mockingbird endure today

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Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the classics of American literature. Never out of print, the novel has sold over 40 million copies since it was first published in 1960. Anne Maxwell The Conversation It has been a staple of high school syllabuses, including in Australia, for several decades, and is often deemed the archetypal race and coming-of-age novel. For many of us, it is a formative read of our youth. The story is set in the ... Read More »