We the People of Exeter Lecture and Film Series and Water Street Bookstore will host Cynthia Anderson, award winning author of Home Now: How 6000 Refugees Transformed an American Town on Thursday, November 14th at 7pm at Water Street Bookstore, 125 Water Street, Exeter. Ms. Anderson, a Maine native who currently teaches writing at Boston University, provides personal insights into how a declining community in Maine is restoring its vibrancy after an influx of African immigrants.
Like so many American factory towns, Lewiston, Maine. thrived until its mill jobs disappeared and the young began leaving. But then the story unexpectedly veered: over the course of fifteen years, the city became home to thousands of African immigrants and, along the way, turned into one of the most Muslim towns in the US. Now about 6,000 of Lewiston’s 36,000 inhabitants are refugees and asylum seekers, many of them Somali. Cynthia Anderson tells the story of this fractious yet resilient city near where she grew up, offering the unfolding drama of a community’s reinvention–and humanizing some of the defining political issues in America today.
In Lewiston, progress is real but precarious. Anderson takes the reader deep into the lives of both immigrants and lifelong Mainers: a single Muslim mom, an anti-Islamist activist, a Congolese asylum seeker, a Somali community leader. Home Now provides a poignant account of America’s evolving relationship with religion and race, and makes a sensitive yet powerful case for embracing change.
The talk is presented by We the People, a free lecture and film series exploring issues at the intersection of current events, ethics and religion. We the People is co-sponsored by the Congregational, Episcopal, and Unitarian Universalist churches of Exeter, in association with Phillips Exeter Academy and Water Street Bookstore. The talk will be held at Water Street Bookstore, 125 Water Street, Exeter, NH.
To see more local events, click here.