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Event Review: Award-Winning Novelist Yaa Gyasi Talks About Finding Home with Students at University of Michigan

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On Tuesday, February 6, Yaa Gyasi, author of the award-winning novel, Homegoing was part of a panel at the 2018 Jill S. Harris Memorial Lecture at the University of Michigan. The event, Homegoing: A Conversation with Yaa Gyasi was structured as a conversational, Q&A format between University of Michigan professors Gaurav Desai and Aida Levy-Hussen and the author herself. I read Homegoing a few months prior to this event and I loved it, so I was excited to to see author Yaa Gyasi in person and listen to her speak about hr book and life as a writer. Gyasi is somewhat soft-spoken, but has a sense of humor and warmth about her that instantly makes you feel comfortable, like talking with…

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TED Talk: Safwat Saleem Urges You to Find Your Voice — Plus, a Helpful Book List

in Non-Fiction by

Finding a voice to fit your identity is never easy. However, artist, designer and animator Safwat Saleem, had a particularly difficult time, struggling with anxiety about his childhood stutter. In this thought-provoking, heartfelt and adorably animated talk from TED 2016, Saleem describes how he overcame his struggle to incorporate his voice into his artwork, not only through childhood, but in the face of rude YouTube commenters who ridiculed his Pakistani accent as an adult. Instead of letting ill-mannered commenters keep him from using his own voice in his work, Saleem rather unpacks the reasons behind those comments: differing definitions of “normality” that lead to preconceived notions. Saleem resolves to use his art to challenge those preconceived notions, which is about…

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