Tossing the book at travel ban
President Trump’s immigration restrictions have sparked protests across the country. One bookstore in Brookline is voicing its opposition through a new window display, which features writers from the seven countries included in the ban.
Dana Brigham, co-owner of Brookline Booksmith, said the idea came to them Monday. While the store tries not to “pick sides politically,” in this case staff felt compelled to speak out, she said.
“We haven’t done it much in our 56-year history, but this seems like an important freedom of speech issue,” she said. “We strongly believe in giving a space to all voices. With this ban, that’s not what’s happening. These voices aren’t being heard; they’re being censored.”
The showcased books were selected primarily because of where their authors are from, but it’s fitting that so many of them deal with immigration and oppression, she said.
“Books let you put yourself into someone else’s shoes,” she said. “They let you get a sense of who [other people] are. I think more people should try experiencing what others have.”
A sample of the books featured in the display:
Anita Amirrezvani — “The Blood of Flowers” (Iran)
Fuad al Takarli — “The Long Way Back” (Iraq)
Hisham Matar — “In the Country of Men” (Libya)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali — “Infidel: My Life” (Somalia)
Leila Aboulela — “The Translator” (Sudan)
Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib — “Just Like a River” (Syria)
Nujood Ali — “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced” (Yemen)