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The Book Collectors of Daraya
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A compelling story of how a group of young people found hope in the midst of the Syrian war

About the Author

Delphine Minoui, a recipient of the Albert Londres Prize for her reporting on Iraq and Iran, is a Middle East correspondent for Le Figaro. Born in Paris in 1974 to a French mother and an Iranian father, she now lives in Istanbul. She is the author of I'm Writing You From Tehran and The Book Collectors.

Reviews

This is an urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion. Delphine Minoui has crafted a book that champions books and the individuals who risk everything to preserve them. -- Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book
An extraordinary story . . . Heartbreaking, inspiring, and beautifully told -- Kirkus Reviews
This compassionate portrayal of an engaging group of rebels serves as a testament to both the resilience of the human spirit and to the power of story. * Library Journal *
I was so moved by this account of the young rebels of Daraya, Syria, who, in the midst of a four-year blockade by Assad's forces (including having poison gas used against them), set up a library with books rescued from bombed and destroyed buildings, an underground (in both senses of the word) library that grew to more than 15,000 titles, ranging from Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People to Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, and everything in between. In this testimony to the power of reading, these lines stood out: 'Books are their best way to escape the war, if only temporarily. A melody of words against the dirge of bombs.' -- Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust and George and Lizzie
Absolutely essential reading. With masterful storytelling, Delphine Minoui recounts the struggle and tenacity of the youth of Daraya who, in the shadow of a merciless war, rescue books from the rubble and bring to life a library unlike any other. Each page connects us to their strength and their spirit as well as to the power of words in a crumbling world. This book is an ode to resistance, to freedom, and to life. -- Negar Djavadi, author of Disoriental
There is something seductive about the idea of knowledge as a bulwark against brutal force, and it's an idea that immediately resonates with Minoui . . . She makes up for the lack of on-the-ground access with an abundance of attention and empathy. -- Mythili Rao * Guardian *

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