Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their familys Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in chargeuntil strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Childrens Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parentsbut they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facilitys cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Too Young to Die is a true personal story about a very close friendship that developed in the midst of the love, loyalty, sacrifice, horror, deceit, greed, and governmental excess that was the Vietnam War. It is an autobiographical sketch of one very unlikely young Jewish man, bonded to a man who was 10 years his senior by their partnership as a sniper team. In a very introspective, transparent, and often humorous way, the author recounts their harrowing experiences on dangerous missions throughout the theater of war in Vietnam and Laos. They were essentially outsiders in the 5th Special Forces unit to which they were assigned. Nonetheless they tried to honor themselves and their country by doing their duty despite the dangerous and uncomfortable wartime jungle environment with which they coped. This difficulty was eclipsed only by the military administrative incompetence that seemed to work to facilitate their demise before they even started. But more importantly, it is also the story about the author’s survivor’s grief and the guilt he bore in the aftermath of that ill-fated war that cost the lives of millions of people; his cherished partner being one of them. It was a war, like any other war, that produced yet another generation of military men and women who will forever be haunted and tormented by the very horrors they so courageously survived.
A photo on Masih’s Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, face bare, hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the self-portrait that sparked ‘My Stealthy Freedom,’ a social media campaign that went viral.
But Masih is so much more than the arresting face that sparked a campaign inspiring women to find their voices. She’s also a world-class journalist whose personal story, told in her unforgettably bold and spirited voice, is emotional and inspiring. She grew up in a traditional village where her mother, a tailor and respected figure in the community, was the exception to the rule in a culture where women reside in their husbands’ shadows. As a teenager, Masih was arrested for political activism and was surprised to discover she was pregnant while in police custody. When she was released, she married quickly and followed her young husband to Tehran where she was later served divorce papers to the shame and embarrassment of her religiously conservative family. Masih spent nine years struggling to regain custody of her beloved only son and was forced into exile, leaving her homeland and her heritage. Following Donald Trump’s notorious immigration ban, Masih found herself separated from her child, who lives abroad, once again.
A testament to a spirit that remains unbroken, and an enlightening, intimate invitation into a world we don’t know nearly enough about, THE WIND IN MY HAIR is the extraordinary memoir of a woman who overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she believes in, and to encourage others to do the same
In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father’s life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.