Date & Time
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Free and open to the public
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
Elly Fishman will discuss "Refugee High: Coming of Age in America"
Presented in partnership with American Writers Museum
“Beautifully written, deeply reported, and bursting with humanity, "Refugee High" is a book you will read in a hurry and remember forever.”—Jonathan Eig, author of "Ali: A Life" and "Luckiest Man."
"Refugee High" is a riveting chronicle of the 2017–8 school year at Sullivan High, a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric was at its height in the White House. Even as we follow teachers and administrators grappling with the everyday challenges facing many urban schools, we witness the complicated circumstances and unique education needs of refugee and immigrant children: Alejandro may be deported just days before he is scheduled to graduate; Shahina narrowly escapes an arranged marriage; and Esengo is shot at the beginning of the school year. Raising vital questions about what the priorities and values of a public school like Sullivan should be, "Refugee High" is a vital window into the present-day American immigration and education systems.
Abouth the Author: Elly Fishman worked as a senior editor and writer at Chicago magazine. Her features have won numerous awards including a City Regional Magazine Award for her article “Welcome to Refugee High,” her first report on the students and faculty at Chicago’s Roger C. Sullivan High School. Refugee High: Coming of Age in America (The New Press) is based on the article, and won the prestigious Studs and Ida Terkel Prize for a first book in the public interest. A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Chicago, Fishman currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband and their dog and teaches in the Journalism Department at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
About the interlocutor: Alex Kotlowitz is the author of four books, including his most recent "An American Summer," the winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize. His first book, the national bestseller "There Are No Children Here," was selected by the NY Public Library as one of the 150 most important books of the twentieth century. "The Other Side of the River" received the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. Kotlowitz’s stories have appeared in "The New Yorker," "The New York Times Magazine" and on "This American Life." His journalism and film honors include two Peabodys, an Emmy, the George Polk Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and an Independent Film Spirit Award. He’s also been honored for his work by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award. Kotlowitz is a professor at Northwestern’s Medill’s School of Journalism, and lives in Chicago with his wife, Maria Woltjen.