The Iowa Center for the Book Chooses Land of Permanent Goodbyes as the 2019 All Iowa Reads for ages 12-18. The novel, set in Syria, tells the story of a refugee escaping his war-torn country in search of survival. Author Atia Abawi, a journalist and refugee herself, captures the hope that spurs people forward against all odds as she depicts Tareq’s journey – from Syria, across Turkey to Greece.
While this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of the heartbreaking consequences of all wars, all tragedy, narrated by Destiny itself. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss.
The purpose of All Iowa Reads (through the Iowa Center of the Book) is to foster a sense of unity through reading. The program encourages Iowans statewide to come together in their communities to read and talk about a single book title in the same year. Libraries, book clubs, schools and other local organizations are encouraged to sponsor discussions of the title. The Iowa Center of the Book offers a wealth of materials including book reviews, discussion questions, and publicity materials to help groups prepare successful discussions.
Atia Abawi is an award-winning foreign correspondent and author who lives in Jerusalem with her husband and young son. She has won numerous awards for both her journalistic achievements and written, including The George Foster Peabody Award and The duPont-Columbia Awards. Atia will be scheduling Skype sessions with the Iowa Center of the Book this winter in order to connect with her readers and fans. Land of Permanent Goodbyes is Abawi’s second novel. Her first novel, The Secret Sky received critical acclaim and a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.