Throughout our Semester 1 course, we will be covering three texts that are centered around a study of the Middle East. We will be covering three different genres: graphic novel, fiction and non fiction.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.
The Places In Between by Rory Stewart In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following. Through these encounters-by turns touching, con-founding, surprising, and funny-Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.
Incendiary by Chris Cleave When a massive suicide bomb explodes at a London soccer match a woman loses both her four-year-old son and her husband. But the bombing is only the beginning. In a voice alive with grief, compassion, and startling humor, Incendiary is a stunning debut of one ordinary life blown apart by terror.
The Stranger Next Door by Amelie Nothomb Emile and Juliette Hazel have just purchased what will be their final home, set in a little clearing an hour's drive from the nearest town. Here, they think, is the place for an idyllic retirement, isolated from the rest of the world save for one neighbor, a doctor, on the far side of the clearing. One day, after they have spent a week in the house, the Hazels' new neighbor comes knocking at their door. Narrated by Emile, this simple story of social obligation yields with impending menace to a deeper exploration of the dangerous cost of restraint. With the peculiar logic of a dream, the doctor continues, unbidden, to visit his neighbors daily. And as he does so, the seed of disquiet in the Hazels' parlor bursts into full horror as Emile is forced to come to grips not only with the stranger next door but also with his own inner darkness
Cathartic Poetry Collection of Poets Pablo Neruda: "In his work a continent awakens to consciousness." So wrote the Swedish Academy in awarding the Nobel Prize to Pablo Neruda, the author of more than thirty-five books of poetry and one of Latin America's most revered writers, lionized during his lifetime as "the people's poet." Sylvia Plath: "In these poems...Sylvia Plath becomes herself, becomes something imaginary, newly, wildly and subtly created." (Goodreads.com) Edgar Allen Poe:
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has never been surpassed for the raw and terrible power with which its hero struggles to answer the eternal question, "Who am I?" The play, a story of a king who acting entirely in ignorance kills his father and marries his mother, unfolds with shattering power; we are helplessly carried along with Oedipus towards the final, horrific truth.