Also of interest…
In crossing boundaries
“Yossi Klein Halevi is a very brave man,” said Anna Porter in The Globe and Mail (Canada). The Israeli journalist and scholar holds out hope that Palestinians and his fellow Jews can still reach an understanding, and his new book calls on each of the communities to recognize the other’s legitimacy as well as its spiritual claims to the land they share. His optimism might be misplaced; still, “I hope the book reaches its intended audiences.”
This collection of essays, edited by the novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, does more than merely put faces to the world’s refugees, said Tim Adams in TheGuardian.com. Nguyen and 17 other writers—including Aleksandar Hemon and Marina Lewycka—share their own experiences with displacement and immigration, and their “beautifully, often angrily told” stories remind us why every culture needs newcomers: “Those who have journeyed farthest have invariably gained the most perspective.”
Ronan Farrow’s first book “doesn’t entirely hang together as an argument,” said Rosa Brooks in The Washington Post. But that’s OK. Farrow, whose reporting has made him a hero of the #MeToo movement, once served under diplomat Richard Holbrooke, and he’s put together an appreciation and defense of diplomacy that’s “full of telling anecdotes and wry, witty observations.” Farrow argues that the U.S. is turning away from diplomatic work at its own peril, and his passion is admirable.
Rumaan Alam’s “absorbing, frustrating” second novel is “good at throwing curveballs,” said Laura Collins-Hughes in The Boston Globe. His protagonist is a wealthy white woman who ends up adopting her black nanny’s infant, and as the story unfolds, Alam “poses important questions about race, privilege, and the nature of family.” Though he doesn’t always convincingly inhabit his female characters’ minds, he’s very good at capturing the unexpected ways that families evolve.