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Victor Bailey
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Novelist Aminatta Forna to speak on writing through war, memory and identity

Fri, 11/08/2013

LAWRENCE — Novelist Aminatta Forna will discuss her newly released novel, "The Hired Man," at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Hall Center for the Humanities Conference Hall. The event is free and open to the public, and a reception and book signing will follow.

"The Hired Man" takes place in the Croatian town of Gost, deeply affected by the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Grappling with war, memory and identity rests at the center of the narrative.

As Frances Perraudin in The Guardian notes, "'The Hired Man' is an ingenious examination of the kind of ghosts that those with no experience of war are unable to see." The book became available in the United States through Bloomsbury in October 2013.

Forna was born in Glasgow, Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and Britain, and also spent periods of her childhood in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the award-winning author of two other novels, "The Memory of Love" and "Ancestor Stones," and a memoir, "The Devil That Danced on the Water," which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. She also has written short stories and essays, and for radio and television.

Forna assumed the position of Sterling Brown Visiting Professor at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in September.



Tears. Smiles. And hugs. That’s what Match Day brought as KU Medical Center’s first Salina class learned where they would go for their residencies — the next step in their medical training. See the Salina Journal’s report and photos: http://bit.ly/1HtAWbW Tags: #KUworks #KUmatch #Match2015 University of Kansas Medical Center Salina Journal KU School of Medicine-Wichita

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Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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