20 June 2018

TAKING REFUGE IN BOOKS

Why a collection of books on war and conflict? Well, it is World Refugee Day today. And one of the main reasons people leave their country to seek refuge, or protection, in another country is war.

Held every year on 20 June, the day commemorates the “strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees”. In a world wracked with strife and where violence forces thousands of people to flee for their lives each day, how does one even start to understand the complexity of being forced to live in exile, of having to go somewhere when there’s nowhere to go? Well, we take refuge in books.

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel on the Holocaust (Maus by Art Spiegelman, published by Penguin Books) to stories of ethnic strife (The Boy Who Spoke in Numbers by Mike Masilamani, published by Tara Books, and Panther by Chhimi Tenduf-La, published by HarperCollins India); from deeply moving World War novels (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, published by Vintage Books, and Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo published by HarperCollins India) to compelling books that depict children growing up in times of conflict (The White Zone by Carolyn Marsden and When Morning Comes by Arushi Raina, both part of the Not Our War series published by Duckbill); from a searing portrayal of a child soldier in the Maoist heartland (Guns on My Red Earth by Swati Sengupta, published by Red Turtle) to a powerful novel about teenage boy lured into a terrorist group in Kashmir (No Guns at My Son’s Funeral by Paro Anand, published by Roli Books)…

Say yes to each and every one of these poignant war stories, but say no to war!

 

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