If you are open to the experience, you can find the strength to defend another person’s human rights simply by flipping the pages of a novel. “We have a great capacity to not feel for those who are different than us, so we have to be vigilant. If the reader is open and they are willing, they will hopefully have an insight into what it must have felt like,” says Yann Martel, Canadian novelist and a guest reader for the Amnesty International Book Club, on the subject of genocide. Books not only share new worlds to explore, they give knowledge that can be passed forward. And that knowledge is power. And when people read the same book, they can begin to feel empathy and find the energy to spark change. “We tend to think of Canada as a place where we’re free of the kinds of human rights abuses of many other parts of the world – where we enjoy unbridled human rights. But I think it’s in our treatment of the First Nations that we see the biggest gap in the rhetoric and the reality,” says Nino Ricci, a guest reader. Joseph Boyden wrote about his first novel, Three Day Road which tells the story of First Nations snipers during the First World War. “Many times I almost gave up, but the story kept calling me back. It’s a simple story on the surface, about friends and how family can help heal even the deepest wounds,” he says. “Amnesty International does such important work in healing those wounds in real life, and a book club to help draw attention to the issues of our nation and as a chance for people to meet and interact is such an excellent idea.”
You can join the Amnesty International Book Club by visiting www.amnestybookclub.ca, or calling toll-free 1-800-266-3789. The book club is free and you don’t have to leave your house to join the conversation.
Source: (NC) newscanada.com