The BiblioFiles Presents: Nadia Hashimi

Just posted! A webcast and podcast with Nadia Hashimi.

Born to Afghan parents who immigrated to American in the 1970s, Hashimi began her career as a medical doctor, but also wrote stories about the rich and complex experiences of Afghan culture. This resulted in a number of  bestselling international novels for adults and the two books for children we will be discussing today – One Half From the East, and The Sky at Our Feet.

One Half from the East is the story of Obayda the youngest daughter of an Afghan family living in Kabul. When her father loses his leg in a car bombing, the family moves to a remote village. As her father retreats further into depression, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the family to live. This is when Obayda first hears the term bacha posh, which is the practice of turning a girl in the family into a boy by cutting her hair, dressing her in boy’s clothing, and changing her name. Ohbayda, now Obayd navigate this completely different world.

In The Sky At Our Feet, we meet Shah, whose American name is Jason. On his mother’s birthday, Jason learns that his father did not die in a car accident as his mother has always told him. His dad is a murdered Afghan journalist, and his mother has been living on an expired visa, terrified she will be discovered, deported, and separated from her son. When her worst nightmare happens, Jason is left alone. His only hope, he believes, is to find his mother’s friend in New York City and ask for help.

Hashimi writes with richness, emotion, and empathy, enfolding the reader into her characters’ lives and families. Difficult topics such as violence, racism, poverty, and misogyny are handled deftly, clearly, and with compassion. She applies the same powerful brushes to her beautiful themes as well, like friendship, identity, inclusion, and acceptance. The result is an intimate and uplifting reading experience.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview

The BiblioFiles Presents: Shaun Tan

sean tan b & w_1

Just posted! A webcast and podcast with multiple award winning, and New York Times bestselling, author, illustrator, artist, and filmmaker, Shaun Tan.

For over two decades, Shaun Tan has created unique worlds with his books, graphic novels, and artistic projects like The Arrival, Tales from Outer Suburbia, Rules of SummerLost & Found, The Bird King, The Singing Bones, Tales from the Inner City, and Cicada.

The cardinal points in Tan’s work are connection and disconnection, the natural world and the unnatural urbanized world. Tan deftly abolishes the boundaries between them, however, with his unrivaled imagination. Hybrid machine beasts, spires and towers, a glorious illuminated garden, an orca swimming above a grid of city lights…Tan presents these wonders while also exploring the essential connections between everything. How we connect to ourselves, how we connect to one another, how we connect with animals, how we connect with the environment. And how, at times, we fail to make these connections, or even damage them. Distinct, expansive, fanciful, foreboding, playful, powerful, beautiful, and thought-provoking, Tan infuses his pages and canvases with a vision unlike anyone else.

Tan’s career has included New York Times bestselling and multiple award-winning books, as well as a diversity of fantastic collaborative projects. He won an Academy Award for his short film The Lost Thing, and also received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to children’s literature.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview

The BiblioFiles Presents: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Author Jewell Parker Rhodes with Ripley, Gurgi. Menlo Park, CA | Kirkpatrick Foundation

Just posted! A webcast and podcast with multiple award winning, and New York Times bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes.

Already an author of adults works, Rhodes penned Ninth Ward, her first novel for children, in 2010. This led to two additional books in her Louisiana Girls’ Trilogy: Sugar, and Bayou Magic. In 2017, her work shifted to more urban settings – New York City for Towers Falling, Chicago for Ghost Boys, and Boston for her newest novel, Black Brother, Black Brother.

Both beautiful and hard hitting, Rhodes’ books are about family connections, identity, racism, prejudice, violence, growth, pain, and hope. From a young girl fighting to survive Hurricane Katrina, to a 12 year-old ghost struggling to overcome his brutal shooting in Chicago, Rhodes writes with honesty and a powerful empathy. She is a truly gifted storyteller who takes us into the difficult lives of people, connects us to them through her words, and then invites us to carry that new understanding into the real world, and change it.

Rhodes’ books have won a Coretta Scott King Honor Award, an EB White Read-Aloud Award, a Walter Award, and have been New York Times bestsellers and Junior Library Guild selections. She holds a Master’s and a Doctor of Arts from Carnegie-Mellon and the Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University, where she also teaches writing and literature.

Follow this link to the BiblioFiles interview