Zeyn Joukhadar’s The Map of Salt and Stars is a coming-of-age novel about two girls living in Syria 800 years apart. In 2011, Nour is moved by her cartographer mother from New York to Syria at the worst possible moment. In the twelfth century, Rawiya cunningly disguises herself as a boy to get a job with a famous mapmaker. For very different reasons, the two end up traveling the same path across the Middle East and North Africa. The book “is to Syria what The Kite Runner is to Afghanistan,” according to the publishers. Author Joukhadar is a Syrian-American trans man who got a PhD in Pathobiology from Brown before switching to writing full-time. (Read a recent essay here.) This author talk is the first event in the new series Reading Across Rhode Island Recommends.
The $20 entry fee includes a paperback copy of the book.