I am almost done with The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher. It’s the book that Greensboro Public Library has chosen for this year’s all-city read. (I did my internship on the last all-city read that GPL did, and it feels weird to not be in on all the minute details of this one. Weird, but good.) The book is about how the town of Lincoln, Nebraska has dealt with the changes that come from thousands of refugees from 52 countries settling in Lincoln, and was chosen for Greensboro because we have a fairly large refugee population (as well as a large Hispanic contingent).

Last time, Greensboro read a novel together. This is a non-fiction book, and while reading it, I have been undecided as to whether I think it’s a good choice or not. I have finally decided that I do like the book, although I don’t think they’ll have as many people read it as they did last time.

What has struck me the most while reading it is how easy my life is. There are people seriously suffering in the world, and we barely hear about it. I had no idea of the horrors that were happening in some of these countries. This has been a fairly emotional week for me in general, and I have been on the verge of tears many times while reading this book. It’s also hard to think that many of them see America as the answer, and then they get here and can only find minimum wage jobs in factories, and their sons and daughters watch too much TV and get involved with gangs or drugs. There are many good things about America, but there is also a dark side that can be hard for refugees to escape because of lack of knowledge and money.

My favorite quote so far: “I looked at Joseph. He was smiling a small slow smile. He was thinking that the crossing [from Sudan to Ethiopia to Kenya, and finally to America], the cold of Nebraska, the difficulties of dealing with us beefy Midwesterners – all his efforts were for this. His sister was no longer a servant. She could go to school. She would learn to read books and play piano. She would be a respected person.”

I think about myself entirely too much.

No Trackbacks