"A Superhero for Generation Why"—One Community, One Book lecture by G. Willow Wilson

Sunday, October 8, 2017 - 2:00pm
Event Location: 
Hancher Auditorium
Hadley Stage
141 East Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242
Cover of book The Butterfly Mosque (red background, gold butterfly)

The One Community, One Book reading program encourages community members to read and discuss the same book with human rights or social justice themes at organized book discussions, in the classroom, or in book clubs. A capstone event is always held and is usually a talk by the book author. Other activities are often held that are related to the book such as film screenings or children’s activities.

This year's One Community, One Book selection is The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam by journalist G. Willow Wilson.

In the book, Wilson, a white woman born in Colorado, relates the remarkable story of her conversion to Islam and her marriage to an Egyptian man in a volatile post-9/11 world. Settling in Cairo, their relationship challenges their assumptions about family, belief, and tradition. Navigating between the secular West and the Muslim East, Wilson attempts to forge a "third culture" that might accommodate her values without compromising them or her friends and family on both sides of the divide.

Seattle Times calls the book "absorbing...intelligently written and passionately rendered... A remarkable journey, one that illuminates the humanity in us all," and Reza Aslan, author of No God but God, says it's "a gorgeously written memoir about what it means to be human in a fractured world, told with warmth and wit to spare."

Copies of this book can be found at Prairie Lights, Iowa Hawk Shop, Iowa Book & Supply, UI Main Library & Iowa City Public, Coralville Public, and North Liberty Community Libraries.

Join us on October 8th, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. on the Hadley Stage at Hancher Auditorium to hear Wilson's lecture, "A Superhero for Generation Why." This event is free and open to the public. In her lecture, Wilson will use the challenges Ms. Marvel—a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager—faces as a parallel for the challenges of a misunderstood generation: the millennials. She’ll discuss the genesis of Ms. Marvel, her roots in the historical science fiction/fantasy tradition, and the significance of writing a superhero for a millennial (and wider) audience.

This event kicks off the Hancher initiative Embracing Complexity and is the first event of the 2017 Iowa City Book Festival, a program of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature Organization.

Co-sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies