Tag Archives: hugo nomination

Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: Points of View

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

On November 21, (today!) from 7:00 – 9:00 pm,  the library is  presenting a reading and talk by Saladin Ahmed, “Writing Muslim American Fantasy.”  The event is open to the public and is free. Parking is available at the Bostwick (Main) Ramp. Ahmed is an amazing fiction author and poet from Detroit whose writing has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards. In honor of this exciting evening, each week until the event we will be showcasing a theme from Muslim Journeys Bookshelf as we move closer to this special event at the library.

Muslim Journeys Points View

This week we are showcasing Points of View. To learn more about Muslim Journey Bookshelf, check out our SubjectGuide.

From Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: Points of View
Developed by Deborah Amos, international correspondent, National Public Radio.

The drama of conflict, chaos, and war come to Western readers in daily newspaper stories, but the news gives us scant details about how people live their lives in Islamabad, Fez, Cairo, or Tehran. Through the titles in “Points of View,” readers will encounter individual experiences in Muslim-majority societies through memoirs and novels representing a diverse geography and some of the best contemporary storytelling.

Understanding and examining Islamic culture through memoirs and fictional works can bring a new awareness of our shared values and difficulties, as well as our shared successes. Islam as a religion often fits into these stories’ plots in the way that a local church community might play a role in an American work of fiction.

The novel is a relatively recent addition to the literary tradition of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Poetry, an ancient art, is much more revered—as are other modes of storytelling, some of which we explore in “Literary Reflections.” Still, the novel produced the first Muslim winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1988 honoree Nagib Mafouz of Egypt, and in more recent decades a legion of writers producing imaginative works that are accessible and illuminating, and that have become familiar to readers worldwide.

“Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, Baghdad reads” is an old Arabic saying that reflects an earlier literary culture before it was threatened by fundamentalism and all but extinguished by repressive governments. Recently, courageous writers have been exercising atrophied literary muscles again by taking on taboo topics of oppression, corruption, inequality, and women’s rights in a creative variety of narrative formats.

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Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: Connected Histories

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

On November 21, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm,  the library is  presenting a reading and talk by Saladin Ahmed, “Writing Muslim American Fantasy.”  The event is open to the public and is free. Parking is available at the Bostwick (Main) Ramp. Ahmed is an amazing fiction author and poet from Detroit whose writing has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards. In honor of this exciting evening, each week until the event we will be showcasing a theme from Muslim Journeys Bookshelf as we move closer to this special event at the library.

Muslim Journeys Connected Histories

This week we are showcasing Connected Histories. To learn more about Muslim Journey Bookshelf, check out our SubjectGuide.

From Muslim Journeys BookshelfConnected Histories
Developed by Giancarlo Casale, University of Minnesota

Centuries before the dawn of the modern age—even before the voyages of Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan—the world was already a surprisingly interconnected place. Braving the high seas and the desert sands, merchants peddled their wares from the Mediterranean to China. Scientists and scholars, drawn to the far corners of the world by a thirst for knowledge, traveled just as far, searching out their peers and sharing the latest ideas about the mysteries of nature. And missionaries and holy men, as they spread the good word of their respective faiths, plied the same roads—inevitably meeting one another, debating the merits of their divergent creeds, and taking inspiration from each other as they pondered the meaning of life and the nature of the divine.

All of the books in this list explore this theme of “connected histories,” a new way of understanding the past in which Islam and the West, far from being locked in an endless “clash of civilizations,” are seen instead as products of this cosmopolitan and inextricably intertwined history. By highlighting the intellectual inheritance shared by Islam and the West, their mutual bonds of monotheism, and the surprising intensity of their cultural and commercial interaction, as well as the individual experiences of the many merchants, missionaries, and other adventurers who journeyed “to the other shore,” these books all chart a path to a new vision of the world of our ancestors, a world that was as remarkably complex and dynamically interconnected as the one we live in today.

List of Books for Connected Histories

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Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: Pathways of Faith

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

On November 21, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm,  the library is  presenting a reading and talk by Saladin Ahmed, “Writing Muslim American Fantasy.”  The event is open to the public and is free. Parking is available at the Bostwick (Main) Ramp. Ahmed is an amazing fiction author and poet from Detroit whose writing has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards. In honor of this exciting evening, each week until the event we will be showcasing a theme from Muslim Journeys Bookshelf as we move closer to this special event at the library.

Muslim Journeys Bookshelf Pathways Faith

This week we are showcasing Literary Reflections. To learn more about Muslim Journey Bookshelf, check out our SubjectGuide.

From Muslim Journeys BookshelfPathways of Faith
Developed by Frederick M. Denny, University of Colorado.

The theme “Pathways of Faith” resonates with Islam’s most important principle: following the correct pathway to spiritual fulfillment and success. One significant pathway for Muslims is Islam’s place as the youngest religion in the extended Abrahamic family of Jews and Christians. Islam’s fellow monotheistic believers may be traced back to the earliest roots of Jewish tradition in the Patriarchal Age of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as reported in the biblical book of Genesis and finding fulfillment down through generations in the work of Moses, the Hebrew prophets, and Jesus of Nazareth. Thus, “Pathways of Faith” pays attention to all the children of Abraham, “the People of the Book”: Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Although the Islamic tradition respects its two older siblings, its own pathway of faith has specific teachings and required practices based in its revealed scripture, the Qur’an (“recitation”). Muslims believe that the Qur’an was recited by the angel Gabriel as a series of revelations from Allah to the Arabian prophet Muhammad, whose own life, teachings, and personal example also came to be deeply respected by the growing Muslim community through imitation, and by being handed down in the form of oral reports addressing a range of spiritual, ethical, and legal issues. Thus, learning and obeying the precepts of the Qur’an and following Muhammad’s teachings are central aspects of Islamic belief and practice.

List of Books for Pathways of Faith

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Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: Literary Reflections

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

On November 21, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm,  the library is  presenting a reading and talk by Saladin Ahmed, “Writing Muslim American Fantasy.”  The event is open to the public and is free. Parking is available at the Bostwick (Main) Ramp. Ahmed is an amazing fiction author and poet from Detroit whose writing has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards. In honor of this exciting evening, each week until the event we will be showcasing a theme from Muslim Journeys Bookshelf as we move closer to this special event at the library.

Muslim Journeys Literary Reflections

This week we are showcasing Literary Reflections. To learn more about Muslim Journey Bookshelf, check out our SubjectGuide.

From Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: Literary Reflections
Developed by Leila Golestaneh Austin, Johns Hopkins University

From formal poetry and the oral tradition of public storytelling to the more contemporary forms of memoir and the novel, many Muslim authors have posed questions about Muslim piety and identity. What does it mean to be a good Muslim? What does Islam require of women and men? How should a good Muslim behave within society? Does Islam promote specific political norms or practices?

The readings for this theme can be seen as literary reflections on questions such as these. Islam has long provided a source of inspiration through which Muslims experience, understand, and guide their everyday lives. In the works featured here, answers to these questions differ from one reading to the other, as each reflects the society in which it is written. Together they reveal how Muslims living at different times and in different places have interpreted Islamic traditions to meet their distinctive cultural realities and spiritual needs.

List of Books for Literary Reflections

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Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: American Stories

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

On November 21, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm,  the library is  presenting a reading and talk by Saladin Ahmed, “Writing Muslim American Fantasy.”  The event is open to the public and is free. Ahmed is an amazing fiction author and poet from Detroit whose writing has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards. In honor of this exciting evening, each week until the event we will be showcasing a theme from Muslim Journeys Bookshelf as we move closer  to this special event at the library.

Muslim Journeys Bookshelf American Stories

This week we are showcasing American Stories. To learn more about Muslim Journey Bookshelf, check out our SubjectGuide

From Muslim Journeys Bookshelf: American Stories
Developed by Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Reed College.

While the large presence of Muslims in the United States dates to the 1960s, Muslims have been a part of the history of America since colonial times. American Muslims’ stories draw attention to ways in which people of varying religious, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds interact to shape both their communities’ identities and our collective past.

Although Muslims did not attain a sizable presence in the United States until the 1960s, they have been part of American history since colonial times. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, tens of thousands of Muslims were captured in Africa and brought to America to be sold as slaves. Through their religion, these Muslims fought both to survive slavery and to make sense of their new circumstances.

By the 1910s, an estimated 60,000 Muslims from South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East had immigrated to the United States, finding employment as factory workers, farmers, and merchants, and it was not long before they began rooting themselves in the United States by founding mosques and community centers. This was also a time when many black Americans converted to Islam; some would even form distinct movements in its name (e.g., the Nation of Islam).

History books often divide the world into a “modern West” and a “traditional Orient,” ignoring the history of Muslims in America. American Muslims’ stories fly in the face of that strict opposition of East and West. By virtue of being both American and Muslim, the stories listed here draw attention to the ways people of varying religious, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds interact with one another to shape and reshape their individual lives and American society. As such, they open new vistas on the formation of Muslim and American identities in the modern world.

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