We are pleased to announce that our selection for our 2018 One Book, One Watertown is Refuge by Dina Nayeri.
Refuge tells the story of Niloo and her family after she flees Iran as a child with her mother and her brother, while her father remains. Niloo, now an adult living in Amsterdam, has only seen her father four times in the intervening years. Because of her life as an immigrant, first in the United States and then in Europe, Niloo has always felt disconnected from the cultures and people that surround her: she is not quite sure where she fits in. Bahman, her father, is a respected dentist in Isfahan, as well as an opium addict. He desperately wants to keep a connection with his children, but does not want to leave his life in Iran until circumstances make it necessary. Their personal explorations bring up issues of the changing nature of adult/child relationships, the work it takes to understand ourselves and others, and what makes us feel secure.
We have chosen Refuge in this time of uncertainty for immigrants in our country and around the world. The staff of the WFPL invites you to join us in celebrating the refugee (and broader immigrant) experience—the bravery and perseverance needed to overcome the obstacles of language, culture, and bureaucracy, while striving to find a feeling of belonging and home.
“Dina Nayeri’s Refuge is a searing and moving meditation on the migrant experience…Nayeri charts the desperate journeys and the hopes and fates of other refugees of different nationalities seeking sanctuary in Europe. A timely read and a compelling one.” –Malcolm Forbes for The National
Refuge is a novel, but the experiences of Niloo closely echo the experiences of Dina Nayeri and her family.
We look forward to welcoming Ms. Nayeri for a Persian dinner and a discussion on Thursday, March 1. The author has local ties, as she attended Harvard for her MBA and Master of Education, and is looking forward to visiting the area again.
Copies of Refuge will be available beginning in January. In addition, we will have Playaway audiobooks, digital audiobooks and ebooks available. Read it, then share it with a neighbor, family member, teacher, or friend. We welcome all of Watertown to join the conversation.