April 26, 2023
Join in the Smart Museum of Art’s virtual book club!
The Smart Reads series continues in April with Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo. We invite you to read along with us and engage in a thought-provoking conversation with host Dorian H. Nash.
FREE. To help build a community of participants, capacity is limited and advanced registration is required.
Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo
From the acclaimed poet featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list, this powerful novel-in-verse captures one girl, caught between cultures, on an unexpected journey to face the ephemeral girl she might have been. Woven through with moments of lyrical beauty, this is a tender meditation on family, belonging, and home.
my mother meant to name me for her favorite flower
its sweetness garlands made for pretty girls
i imagine her yasmeen bright & alive
& i ache to have been born her instead
Nima wishes she were someone else. She doesn’t feel understood by her mother, who grew up in a different land. She doesn’t feel accepted in her suburban town; yet somehow, she isn’t different enough to belong elsewhere. Her best friend, Haitham, is the only person with whom she can truly be herself. Until she can’t, and suddenly her only refuge is gone.
As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen—the name her parents meant to give her at birth—Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might be more real than Nima knows. And the life Nima wishes were someone else’s. . . is one she will need to fight for with a fierceness she never knew she possessed.
January 25, 6–7:30 pm
The Theater and its Double by Antonin Artaud
February 22, 6–7:30 pm
Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
March 29, 6–7:30 pm
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
April 26, 6–7:30 pm
Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo
May 31, 6–7:30 pm
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
June 28, 6–7:30 pm
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
July 26, 6–7:30 pm
The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto
August 23, 6–7:30 pm
We Do This 'Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba
September 27, 6–7:30 pm
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
October 25, 6–7:30 pm
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
November 29, 6–7:30 pm
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
December 6, 6–7:30 pm
Year in books recap and reflection