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Narrative Nonfiction Book Club

Join in-person or virtually, to discuss "The White Mosque" by Sofia Samatar. This book is a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, Kirkus Review's - Best Book of The Year, and Literary Hub - A Most Anticipated Book of the Year.

A secular pilgrimage to a lost village and a near-forgotten history, The White Mosque traces the porous and ever-expanding borders of identity, asking: how do we enter the stories of others? And how, out of the tissue of life, with its weird incidents, buried archives, and startling connections, does a person construct a self?

In the late nineteenth century, a group of German-speaking Mennonites traveled from Russia into Central Asia, where their charismatic leader predicted Christ would return. Over a century later, Samatar joins a tour following their path. In pursuit of this curious history, Samatar discovers a variety of characters whose lives intersect around the ancient Silk Road and explores such topics as Central Asian cinema, Mennonite martyrs, and her own complex upbringing as the daughter of a Swiss-Mennonite and a Somali-Muslim, raised as a Mennonite of color in America.

Registration requested by July 17, 2023 either at the virtual attendance link below or at the "In-Person Registration" button above to the right.

For a copy of The White Mosque, visit:

July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022:

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