Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: Freedom: A Collection of Short Fiction Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human from Amnesty International

This is the best gift, the ultimate gift, the gift that gives forever.

Freedom (Key Porter Books) is an Amnesty International collection that includes the work of some of the world’s top authors. Each writer reimagines a single right from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations after World War II.

The anthology is movingly introduced by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “And what have art and literature to do with human rights?” Tutu asks. “They are all bound up with this wonderful talent we humans have: to empathize with others. If, by reading any one of the stories in this anthology, we are enabled to step, for one moment, into another person’s shoes ... then that is already a great achievement.”

Considering that the book includes work by some of the foremost contemporary storytellers in the world, it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving this collection entirely unmoved. Contributing writers include Kate Atkinson, Ishmeal Beah, Paulo Coelho, Nadine Gordimer, A.L. Kennedy, Henning Mankell, Yann Martel, Rohinton Mistry, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Banana Yoshimoto and several others.

It’s a fantastic collection for a wonderful cause: an important book.

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