Coming of Age Around the World

Adolescence is a time of exile, especially for those whose identities have already been fractured by forced migration, inchoate ethnicity, or the unholy alliance of politics and religious extremism. For Coming of Age Around the World (The New Press), editors Faith Adiele (Meeting Faith) and Mary Frosch (Coming of Age in America) gathered stories and excerpts by Ben Okri, Aminatta Forna, David Bezmozgis, and others: complex, startling, heartbreaking narratives. Included is a devastating excerpt from Shadows of a Childhood, by Elisabeth Gille, whose mother, novelist Irène Némirovsky (Suite Francaise), died in Auschwitz. As Adiele writes in "Black Men," her story of restless wanderers, "Like so many of those who invented America, my great-grandfather emerged from the dream of migration only partly intact. Half of himself he carried…forever out of reach." This timely anthology is a step toward wholeness in a broken world.

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