Ahlam Bsharat’s ‘Code Name: Butterfly’ Chosen as 2018 Read for ‘One Book, Many Communities’ Project

This April and May 2018, Ahlam Bsharat’s Code Name: Butterfly, translated by Nancy Roberts, will become the Librarians and Archivists with Palestine’s fourth annual “One Book, Many Communities” selection:

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) launched their One Book, Many Communities international reading campaign in 2015 with dozens of book groups meeting to discuss Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin in cities around the world. According to LAP’s Melissa Morrone, the project draws inspiration from “One Book, One Town” initiatives, through which people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book.

The “One Book, Many Communities” campaign is, according to this year’s organizers, “designed to introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination.”

The coming-of-age YA novel Code Name: Butterfly — a book that centers on a young girl’s questions — was shortlisted for Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature in its original version and, in Roberts’ translation, for the Middle East Monitor Palestine Books Awards.

Organizers write:

If you’re interested in organizing a reading group in your community, please contact us and check back for more information. Book groups can be held at a library, university or school, at a local non-profit organization or community center, in your living room, or at a bookstore. If you schedule your event for April or May 2018, you’ll be connected to readers across the globe who will be reading and discussing the book at the same time. Use your imagination! And let us know what you’re planning!

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine “is a network of self-defined librarians, archivists, and information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.” The hashtag for the campaign is: #lap1book.

Previous “One Book, Many Communities” books from LAP:

2017: “Returning to Haifaby Ghassan Kanafani, translated by Barbara Harlow and Karen Riley

2016: Sharon and My Mother-in-Law by Suad Amiry.

2015: Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa.