I thought, “What could the lives of Kati and Willi Salcer, two Czech Jews who survived the Holocaust as teenagers, possibly have to do with people living in poverty and scavenging an existence in garbage dumps?”
Then, I read a little about garbage dump communities and what initially struck me was how these people were highly stigmatized by people outside of their communities, often shunned, and derisively referred to with terms such as being called the local rats. Local rats. When I read this phrase, I immediately thought of Kati Salcer as a young girl in Auschwitz about to be disinfected and having her hair shaved off.
D.Z. Stone, author of No Past Tense
Join the IntSam Book Club!
One of the best ways to build solidarity is through the simple act of doing activities together. That’s why International Samaritan launched the IntSam book club: our way to connect with others around the world while also learning from distinguished authors on global topics. Our first book club was first founded in Kore, Ethiopia with a small group of IntSam scholars. The little club grew and merged with our Learn, Serve, Grow partnership curriculum, and it 2021, we held our first series of global book clubs between our global scholars and students from our U.S.A. partner schools. After seeing the success of the Learn, Serve, Grow book discussions, we knew that we needed to create a version for adults… and thus, the Official IntSam Book Club was born.
Join the book club by emailing us through the contact form below.
Our Next Read
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Lydia Quixano Pérez runs a bookstore in Acapulco, Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Sebastián, who is a journalist, and their son, Luca. When a man starts visiting her store, buying books and striking up a friendship, she has no idea initially that he will be responsible for turning her life upside down. But Lydia and Luca will have to flee Acapulco, setting them on a journey they will share with countless other Central and South Americans-turned migrants. There is very little I can say about this novel that hasn’t already been said, and it hasn’t even been published yet. The buzz has been building early, and when it does go on sale it will likely be one of the most talked about (and widely read) books of the year. From the colossal opening chapter to the epilogue, American Dirt is a novel of crisp writing, urgent pacing, and remarkable empathy. It deserves the attention of a large audience.
Book club discussion date TBD.
Our Past Reads
Bring Back Our Girls by Joe Parkinson & Drew Hinshaw
What happens after you click Tweet? The heart-stopping definitive account of the mission to rescue hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls whose abduction ignited a global social media campaign and a dramatic worldwide intervention.
Book authors Joe Parkinson and Drew Hinshaw joined us for a book club discussion and Q&A in November, 2021. We were also joined by voices from Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Honduras, who shared their own perspectives and stories of missing families.
No Past Tense by D.Z. Stone
No Past Tense is the biography of Katarina (Kati) Kellner and William (Willi) Salcer, two Czech Jews who as teenagers were swept up by the Holocaust in Hungary and survived Auschwitz and Mauthausen, respectively.
Covering their entire lives, weaving in first person ‘real time’ voices as if watching a documentary about themselves, the unique structure of No Past Tense provides a distinctive ‘whole life’ view of the Holocaust.
For our August 2021 book club, we were honored to be joined joined by Ron Salcer, the son of the couple whose lives are followed in the book No Past Tense. He shared more information with us about his parents and what happened after the book ended. We were also joined with voices from multiple locations in Central America and Africa.
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