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The Anacostia Library will be closed from Monday, July 22 - Sunday, Aug. 4 for a scheduled facilities project. Learn more on the Anacostia Library page.

Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) honors June Survivors Week from June 24 - 30. TASSC is an organization that takes an integrated, trauma-informed, and survivor-centered approach to its work with survivors of torture. The DC Public Library has partnered with them to select some titles for all ages. Learn more about this important and relevant topic by checking them out today with your DC Public Library Card.

Books for Children and Families

Stormy Seas

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees, Mary Beth Leatherdale

A desperate last hope for safety and freedom. The plight of refugees risking their lives at sea has, unfortunately, made the headlines all too often in the past few years. This book presents five true stories, from 1939 to today, about young people who lived through the harrowing experience of setting sail in search of asylum: Ruth and her family board the St. Louis to escape Nazism; Phu sets out alone from war-torn Vietnam; José tries to reach the United States from Cuba; Najeeba flees Afghanistan and the Taliban; and after losing his family, Mohamed abandons his village on the Ivory Coast in search of a new life.


Brothers in HOpe

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Mary Williams

Eight-year-old Garang is tending cattle far from his family's home in southern Sudan when war comes to his village. Frightened but unharmed, he returns to find everything has been destroyed.

Soon Garang meets other boys whose villages have been attacked. Before long they become a moving band of thousands, walking hundreds of miles seeking safety -- first in Ethiopia and then in Kenya. The boys face numerous hardships and dangers along the way, but their faith and mutual support help keep the hope of finding a new home alive in their hearts.

Based on heartbreaking yet inspirational true events in the lives of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Brothers in Hope is a story of remarkable and enduring courage, and an amazing testament to the unyielding power of the human spirit.

Books for Teens

Persepolis

Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the coming-of-age story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane's child's-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.


The Unwanted Stories of the Syrian Refugees

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees, Don Brown

Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted.

Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read.

Books for Adults

The Complete Works of Primo Levi

The Complete Works of Primo Levi, Primo Levi

In the works for sixteen years, The Complete Works of Primo Levi is the most ambitious literary translation of the twenty-first century. Primo Levi, the Italian-born chemist once described by Philip Roth as that "quicksilver little woodland creature enlivened by the forest's astute intelligence, " has largely been considered a heroic figure in the annals of twentieth-century literature for If This Is a Man, his haunting account of Auschwitz. Yet Levi's body of work extends considerably beyond his experience as a survivor. Now, the transformation of Levi from Holocaust memoirist to one of the twentieth century's greatest writers culminates in this magisterial publication of The Complete Works of Primo Levi, which, twenty-eight years after his premature death in Turin, finally collects all of Levi's fourteen books--memoirs, essays, poetry, and fiction--into three slip-cased volumes, along with new translations, one revised by the original translator, and an introduction by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The appearance of this historic publication will occasion a major reappraisal of "one of the most valuable writers of our time.


Those We Throw Away Are Diamonds

Those We Throw Away are Diamonds, Mondiant Dogon

A stunningly beautiful and heartbreaking lens on the global refugee crisis, from a man who faced the very worst of humanity and survived to advocate for refugees everywhere One night when Mondiant Dogon, a Bagogwe Tutsi born in Congo, was very young, his father's lifelong friend, a Hutu man, came to their home with a machete in his hand and warned the family they were to be killed within hours. Dogon's family fled into the bush, where they began a long and dangerous journey into Rwanda. Since that day when he was just three years old, Dogon has called himself a forever refugee. He and his family made their way to the first of several UN tent cities in which they would spend the next quarter century. But their search for a safe haven had only just begun. Hideous violence stalked them in the camps, where death loomed constantly. Even though Rwanda famously has a refugee for a president in Paul Kagame, refugees in that country face enormous prejudice and acute want. For most of his life, Dogon only had enough to eat three days a week. Food appeared on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. For a time he fled back to Congo in search of the better life that had been lost, but there he was imprisoned and then found work as a child soldier. Against all odds, and through grit and good fortune, he managed to be one of the few Congolese Tutsis to receive an education in Rwanda. Eventually, Dogon came to the US and became an advocate for his people. He is the self-described global ambassador for the Bagogwe Tutsi, who has also lent his voice to the plight of forever refugees everywhere. As Dogon once wrote in a poem, "those we throw away are diamonds." Dogon is a singular human who carries the weight of his people and champions the cause of 65 million refugees around the world. In THOSE WE THROW AWAY ARE DIAMONDS, written with New Yorker contributor Jenna Krajeski, he shares his incredible and moving story of survival to bring home the global refugee crisis.


The Seasons of Trouble

The Seasons of Trouble: Life Amid the Ruins of Sri Lanka's Civil War, Rohini Mohan

For three decades, Sri Lanka's civil war tore communities apart. In 2009, the Sri Lankan army finally defeated the separatist Tamil Tigers guerrillas in a fierce battle that swept up about 300,000 civilians and killed more than 40,000. More than a million had been displaced by the conflict, and the resilient among them still dared to hope. But the next five years changed everything.

Rohini Mohan's searing account of three lives caught up in the devastation looks beyond the heroism of wartime survival to reveal the creeping violence of the everyday. When city-bred Sarva is dragged off the streets by state forces, his middle-aged mother, Indra, searches for him through the labyrinthine Sri Lankan bureaucracy. Meanwhile, Mugil, a former child soldier, deserts the Tigers in the thick of war to protect her family.

Having survived, they struggle to live as the Sri Lankan state continues to attack minority Tamils and Muslims, frittering away the era of peace. Sarva flees the country, losing his way - and almost his life - in a bid for asylum. Mugil stays, breaking out of the refugee camp to rebuild her family and an ordinary life in the village she left as a girl. But in her tumultuous world, desires, plans, and people can be snatched away in a moment.

The Seasons of Trouble is a startling, brutal, yet beau­tifully written debut from a prize-winning journal­ist. It is a classic piece of reportage, five years in the making, and a trenchant, compassionate examina­tion of the corrosive effect of conflict on a people.


Ravensbruck by Sarah Helm

Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women, Sarah Helm

Months before the outbreak of World War II, Heinrich Himmler--prime architect of the Holocaust--designed a special concentration camp for women, located fifty miles north of Berlin. Only a small number of the prisoners were Jewish. Ravensbrück was primarily a place for the Nazis to hold other inferior beings: Jehovah's Witnesses, Resistance fighters, lesbians, prostitutes, and aristocrats--even the sister of New York's Mayor LaGuardia. Over six years the prisoners endured forced labor, torture, starvation, and random execution. In the final months of the war, Ravensbrück became an extermination camp. Estimates of the final death toll have ranged from 30,000 to 90,000.

For decades the story of Ravensbrück was hidden behind the Iron Curtain. Now, using testimony unearthed since the end of the Cold War and interviews with survivors who have never talked before, Sarah Helm takes us into the heart of the camp. The result is a landmark achievement that weaves together many accounts, following figures on both sides of the prisoner/guard divide. Chilling, compelling, and deeply necessary, Ravensbrück is essential reading for anyone concerned with Nazi history.

Audiences: All Ages