AUIS Lecturer Publishes a Book | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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AUIS Lecturer Publishes a Book

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 10:15

AUIS APP Lecturer Alex Poppe recently wrote a book Girl, World. The book, published by Laughing Fire Press, a collection of short stories about women, explores their hardship and survival in places where they are systematically oppressed and used by the world around them.

Each of the stories tackle social justice issues that have been overlooked. Some are centered around gender-based violence, whether it's the trafficking of young girls to fill brothels for UN peacekeepers or sexual assault that happens in the military. “People are surprised that this stuff happens” she said. Some readers have told her the realness of the stories can be too difficult to read, but Poppe argues, “It’s fictionalized but based on reality, and many young girls have experienced it.” She emphasizes the importance of giving voice to oppressed women through the retelling of their stories. “What I wanted this book to do was to start conversations that have fallen by the wayside.”

Poppe travels and her journalistic eye provides a constant inspiration for her work. She mentions life in the West Bank where she also taught, and relates Palestinian struggles to the Kurdish cause. “They are both subjugated people within territories where they have a claim to land and their claim is not recognized.” The idea of identity is a big theme in the book. “[the stories] are about identity and loss, and who we are when our lives get derailed,” she said. When asked if she would teach any of the stories to her students at AUIS, Poppe replied, “I would definitely teach the story “Kurdistan”. It's a story that students can relate to. It’s mostly about being a stranger in a strange land and getting over loss.”

One of the stories, "Room 308" was recently taught in a creative writing class at Rutgers University. The story was also recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in fiction, and it has been named a 2017 35 Over 35 Debut Book Award winner.
In 2018, the book was nominated as a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize, as well as the Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Award 
for "superior work by a debut author".

Girl, World can be bought in print and as an E-book on Amazon, or through Laughing Fire Press.