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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?
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.
The novel follows two fictional Iowa farm women, isolated and very different neighbors who face a series of hardships together. Author Michelle Hoover says her great-grandmother’s journal, which included family photos, sparked the idea. In this luminous and unforgettable debut, Hoover explores the polarization of the human soul in times of hardship and the instinctual drive for self-preservation by whatever means necessary. The Quickening stands as a novel of lyrical precision and historical consequence, reflecting the resilience and sacrifices required even now in our modern troubled times.