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Literary Sojourn Book Discussion

What Strange Paradise

Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Conference Room or Virtually via Zoom
“Searing, lyrical . . . A beguiling parable of dispossessed peoples and the burning desire for home.” —Oprah Daily

About the Book 

More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another overfilled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives back in their homelands. But miraculously, someone has survived the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who is soon rescued by Vanna. Vanna is a teenage girl, who, despite being native to the island, experiences her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though Vanna and Amir are complete strangers, though they don't speak a common language, Vanna is determined to do whatever it takes to save the boy.

In alternating chapters, we learn about Amir's life and how he came to be on the boat, and we follow him and the girl as they make their way toward safety. What Strange Paradise is the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world. But it is also a story of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair--and about the way each of those things can blind us to reality.

Learn more about Steamboat's Literary Sojourn festival of authors on Sept. 10, 2022.


The Literary Sojourn Author Study has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Funding has been provided to Bud Werner Memorial Library by Colorado Humanities from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Colorado Humanities.

About the Club 


Welcome! The Bud Werner Book Discussion Group meets once a month and is facilitated by Bud Werner Library's Adult Services Associate Librarian, Erina Alkema. Open to anyone interested in participating, this group currently meets in the evening and is designed to be a casual, guided chat about our latest book selection. No need to attend all of the discussions, just pick the ones that interest you! We will have 10 copies available for loan, plus ebook and audiobook copies. Sign up at the circulation desk, call 970-367-4907, or use the registration button at the top of this page.