Author: Barry Stephenson
Summary: Ritual is part of what it means to be human. Like sports, music, and drama, ritual defines and enriches culture, putting those who practice it in touch with sources of value and meaning larger than themselves. Ritual is unavoidable, yet it holds a place in modern life that is decidedly ambiguous. What is ritual? What does it do? Is it useful? What are the various kinds of ritual? Is ritual tradition bound and conservative or innovative and transformational? Continue reading “Ritual: A Very Short Introduction”
Summary: For anyone who has ever felt like they don’t belong, Sigh, Gone shares an irreverent, funny, and moving tale of displacement and assimilation woven together with poignant themes from beloved works of classic literature. Continue reading “Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In”
Author: Edited by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Magan Magan, Ahmed Yussuf
Summary: ‘I was born in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.’
‘My dad was a freedom fighter, waging war for an independent state: South Sudan.’
‘We lived in a small country town, in the deep south of Western Australia.’
‘I never knew black people could be Muslim until I met my North African friends.’
‘My mum and my dad courted illegally under the Apartheid regime.’
‘My first impression of Australia was a housing commission in the north of Tasmania.’
‘Somalis use this term, “Dhaqan Celis”. “Dhaqan” means culture and “Celis” means return.’ Continue reading “Growing up African in Australia”
Author: Paul Fleischman, Judy Pedersen (Illustrations)
Summary: A Vietnamese girl plants six lima beans in a Cleveland vacant lot. Looking down on the immigrant-filled neighborhood, a Romanian woman watches suspiciously. A school janitor gets involved, then a Guatemalan family. Then muscle-bound Curtis, trying to win back Lateesha. Pregnant Maricela. Amir from India. A sense of community sprouts and spreads.
Continue reading “Seedfolks”
Author: Ann Morgan
Summary: In 2012, the world arrived in London for the Olympics… and Ann Morgan went out to meet it. She read her way around all the globe’s 196 independent countries (plus one extra), sampling one book from every nation. It wasn’t easy. Many languages have next to nothing translated into English; there are tiny, tucked-away places where very little is written down at all; some governments don’t like to let works of art leak out to corrupt Westerners.
Continue reading “Reading the world: confessions of a literary explorer”
Author: François Grosjean
Summary: This book explores the life and experiences of one of the world’s most renowned and well-respected experts in bilingualism. François Grosjean takes us through his life, from his monolingual childhood in a small village outside Paris to the long periods of time he spent in Switzerland, England, France, and the United States, becoming bilingual and bicultural in the process.
Continue reading “A Journey in Languages and Cultures – The Life of a Bicultural Bilingual”