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Impact x2 Qais

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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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So Spoke Penelope

A cycle of poems that follow the long wait of Penelope, the wife of the Greek hero Odysseus, as her husband faces the challenges that beset him in Homer’s “The Odyssey.” As Diane Arnson Svarlien, translator of Euripides’ “Andomache,” “Hecuba,” and “Trojan Women,” put it: “The Penelope of Homer’s Odyssey is a match for her famous husband: devoted to their marriage, playing the long game, nobody’s fool. In “So Spoke Penelope,” Tino Villanueva shows us the world through her eyes. Villanueva succeeds in imagining Penelope’s inner life and outer surroundings, with the sea and the possibility of Odysseus’ return always present, even as the suitors, her own anxiety, and the violent hexameters of Phemius the Bard’s “hard-strummed song” oppress her. So Spoke Penelope is illuminating and rewarding.”

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