Human Complexity in Storytelling — A conversation with Lesley Nneka Arimah, award-winning author of the collection of short stories, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky
Thursday, April 6, 2023
As part of the Global Education Program at the Stanley Center, the community in Muscatine, Iowa, joined a conversation with award-winning author, Lesley Nneka Arimah. The event was co-organized by Muscatine Community College and the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.
The event included a moderated discussion and Q&A. In-person attendees met the author, got their books signed, and participated in table conversations.
From the book description: “A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results (‘Who Will Greet You at Home’). A disastrous night out shifts an American teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground (‘Wild’). And in a world ravaged by flood and riven by class, experts have discovered how to ‘fix the equation of a person’—with rippling, unforeseen repercussions (‘What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky’). A dazzling accomplished debut collection, these stories explore the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home.”
See also this helpful list of discussion questions to help guide your reading of the book.
“Inclusive Dialogue: Human Complexity in Storytelling” is organized in partnership with:
A Conversation with Authors Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson
When Stars Are Scattered tells Omar Mohamed’s story of growing up as a Somali refugee in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. A National Book Award Finalist, the graphic novel is coauthored by award-winning writer and artist, Victoria Jamieson.
Authors Omar and Victoria met with the community in Muscatine, Iowa, on May 23 to talk about how heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this work about a childhood spent waiting, told from the perspective of a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult and uncertain of settings.
As part of the Global Education Program at the Stanley Center, the community joined this conversation with Omar and Victoria both in person at the Merrill Hotel in Muscatine and virtually online. The event included a moderated discussion, Q&A, and table conversations.
The conversation was co-organized with Muscatine Community College and the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.
A Virtual Conversation with Author Jason Reynolds
In his acclaimed novels, award-winning author Jason Reynolds delves deep into real issues facing young people in the United States. Why do police treat Black teenagers differently than white teenagers? How can we confront racial injustice in our communities? Jason shines a light on these and other questions in his popular books for young adults.
As part of the Global Education program at the Stanley Center, we co-organized a virtual conversation with Jason, New York Times bestselling author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at the Library of Congress. Reflecting on his own unique ability to spark difficult conversations among youth through the power of the written word, he inspires all of us to think critically about race relations. Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely co-authored the award-winning novel, All American Boys.
Many students and community members in Muscatine, Iowa (and beyond) read All American Boys and joined us on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 for a virtual conversation.
This virtual conversation was organized in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine and Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.
A Virtual Discussion with Author Imbolo Mbue
In 2020, Iowans are living in a time when the public health and economic shocks of COVID-19 are further fracturing our already polarized society. Political misinformation, xenophobia, and racism choke our collective capacities for seeing the common humanity in one another. During such times, when even the threat of political mass violence lingers over the country, Americans are reflecting on ideals such as the “American Dream” and seeking opportunities for reconciliation with our neighbors.
As part of the Stanley Center’s work to promote empathy and global citizenship in our local Iowa community, we, with our partners, organized a virtual discussion with Imbolo Mbue, award-winning author of the New York Times Bestseller, Behold the Dreamers. A native of Limbe, Cameroon, and a graduate of Rutgers and Columbia Universities, Mbue discussed immigration and the American Dream and what her work can teach us about empathy in our relationships with others.
Many of our community members in Muscatine, Iowa (and beyond) read Mbue’s book and joined us on Friday, November 13, 2020 for a virtual discussion.
This virtual discussion was organized in partnership with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, and the Musser Public Library.
Questions about “Inclusive Dialogue” or our other local programming? Follow us on Facebook for updates, or contact Krista Regennitter, program officer for Global Education!