Pushing the Elephant

“Pushing the Elephant” is a documentary about Rose Mapendo from the Democratic Republic of Congo and her 17-year old daughter Nangabir. Watch the trailer here.    The creator says, “This intimate family portrait unfolding against the wider drama of war tackles the long-term and often hidden effects of conflict […]

Muslim Journeys

Bridging Cultures – Muslim Journeys is a new reading list created by the NEH in collaboration with the American Library Association.  This is a reading list for general readers and is a good resource for high school and college students.  It includes House of Stone by Anthony Shadid, […]

What’s Happening in the Sudans?

As I talk with readers about The Good Braider, we inevitably come to talk about South Sudanese family’s desire to return to South Sudan now that it’s an independent nation. And then we talk about latest news of  Sudan’s “relentless aerial attacks”  in the unmarked border regions between Sudan […]


Okay, Tom and the teachers at Portland High, this is for you.  I joined the teachers for their Book Club in which they’d read THE GOOD BRAIDER.  We talked about many themes in the book. Then English teacher Tom Talarico had the idea that if he used the […]

I’m Your Neighbor

I’M YOUR NEIGHBOR is the name of a website and a concept. Kirsten Cappy is the creator. Ann Sibley O’Brien and I  are on the I’m-Your-Neighbor team, and we’re  writers of books that Kirsten features on this new site which is about creating events around children’s and YA  […]

What Anahid and Sonia Did

I am terribly excited for this book that reviewers are beginning to respond to with admiration for the young protagonist.  (“This is a story of courage, not just Viola’s but all immigrants.”  from Finding Wonderland) More than one reviewer has said  that they never review a book before […]

“Dreaming Again” in New Hampshire

My novel, The Good Braider,  is based on dozens  of oral histories as well as much research about  Sudan.  I want to tell you about a play whose script  is created around oral histories  of immigrants. “Dreaming Again,” commissioned by the NH Humanities Council and written by Genevieve Aichele, […]