(NC) — To mark Refugee Rights Day, the Amnesty Book Club is hosting a special novel this month: The Illegal by Lawrence Hill. The novel is the CBC Canada Reads 2016 champion and will be featured on Hill’s own book tour that coincided with the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Now fiction meets reality as both the Amnesty International Book Club and Hill discuss the vivid story of The Illegal and its real-world implications.
In his novel, Hill challenges Canadians to consider a different perception of the refugee – not focused on the families in the camps, but rather those in limbo between systems. Keita is a runner who has fled the politically motivated violence of his homeland, and arrives in a land called Freedom State. But Keita has no true freedom, and must keep running within this new home that hunts down refugees. He runs from the authorities, but also runs to train in hopes of winning an important race – the prize money so important, it could save the life of his sister.
Through this novel, the Amnesty International Book Club shares Canada’s own refugee story, both past and present, and discusses how we can offer a place of safety and opportunity in our own country and worldwide.
Other novels featured include Ru, What We All Long For, and Dogs at the Perimeter, which shed light on the diverse experiences of refugees.
A free-to-attend online interview will be held in April with Lawrence Hill. Join the reading community at amnestybookclub.ca for more information.