Pulitzer Prize-winning Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey, recently addressed the United Nations about how to better manage global migration as part of the UN’s Panel Discussion on International Migration and Development.

While the UN emphasized how migration spurs positive development both in countries that receive and in those that send migrants, Nazario’s focus was different. Instead, she talked about how too many migrants, especially women, feel forced to leave their homelands and children to go abroad in order to survive, and how child-mother separations produce devastating consequences for families and society. She urged developed countries to focus on creating jobs in specific migrant-sending countries so more migrants can stay home—where most would rather be.

Nazario’s book, Enrique’s Journey, tells one personal story of global migration, as it follows the path of a Honduran youth named Enrique who journeys to the United States in search of his mother.  The book has become a common read selection for over 100 high schools and colleges.

The author’s recommendations on how developed countries like the United States can help keep more migrants at home drew praise throughout the day from panelists, member states, and representatives of non-governmental organizations in the audience. The representative for the United Methodist Women said thousands of their members had read Enrique’s Journey as part of their book club, and urged the UN to follow the recommendations Nazario outlined. An organizer of the conference later wrote to say: “Your presentation was very moving and opened our eyes.”

The meeting was designed to prepare UN delegates for a session in October where the UN hopes to make immigration policy decisions.

Click here for a video of Sonia’s UN talk (Nazario appears at 23:50).
Click here for more information about Enrique’s Journey.
Click here to visit the author’s website.

Photo by David Ebershoff

Photo by David Ebershoff

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

UN Video

UN Video

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Let the Great World Spin HCNew York Times writer Joel Lovell has written a thoughtful piece on Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin (Random House), which won the National Book Award, and a new novel, TransAtlantic (Random House, June 2013).  Titled “Colum McCann’s Radical Empathy,” the profile is set in the recent aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy as McCann travels to the afflicted school to speak to the high school students upon a teacher’s request.   It delves into the value of Let the Great World Spin (which was added to the Newtown high school curriculum) as a transcendent history that can ease the pains of tragedy, “a book that,” Newtown teacher Lee Keylock says, “might help their students begin to make sense of their terrible shock and grief.”  From there, the article moves into McCann’s own life, crossing briefly into McCann’s childhood in Ireland, to his desire as a writer to work in “the blurred spaces between fiction and nonfiction.”  Granting insight into McCann’s humor, gravity, and ambition, the piece permits a glimpse into the life of the man who writes, while “‘in the cupboard,'” about the magnitude of the world.

Click here to read the full New York Times article.

Click here for more information about Colum McCann.

Click here for information about the author’s speaking engagements.