US publishing praise for ARC's Stories of the Stranger
December 16, 2014:
||Sylvia Woodcock-Clarke drew the illustrations for Stories of the Stranger
It’s been six months since Bene Factum Publishing released Stories of the Stranger, an anthology of tales old and new from many different cultures rewritten by contemporary authors, but, as the writer of this ‘starred’ review recently published in the influential US Publishers Weekly observes, its message will continue to resonate for a long time:
"In 2012, there were 23,000 people each day displaced, dispersed, and dispossessed, driven from their homes by conflict and persecution. When refugees flee, it's often with only the clothes on their backs—and stories on their lips. Those in exile must rely on the kindness of strangers, beware of hucksters, and seek out the protection of angels in disguise. This collection of 20 short tales, drawn from holy books, legends, and modern stories, and with a preface by former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, reminds readers that meeting the stranger is risky and mysterious, although often rewarding. In "The End of the World," the founder of the Baha'i faith transforms his jailer through holy actions and prayer. "Sister Agatha's Mobile" is from a contemporary Catholic sister in Nigeria who continues offering charity, even when it's abused, such as when a stranger steals her cell phone. But why did the U.K.-based Alliance of Religions and Conservation publish a collection of short stories? Because ARC is working with the world's major faiths to prepare for "the anticipated rise in refugees and migrants triggered by ecological collapse in their home countries." In short, our sacred stories may become critical flotation devices as the seas rise."
(review, Publishers Weekly, December 2014)
Stories of the Stranger was gathered together through story-telling sessions across ARC’s international networks as a response to the plight of the increasing numbers of people forced to leave their homes and communities by war, famine, environmental catastrophe and sectarian division. The book's common thread is to show how each of the major faiths has traditionally taught that is the responsibility of the faithful to show compassion to these strangers ‘lest you entertain angels unawares’ .
LinksPublishers Weekly review
Bene Factum Publishing
Stories of the Stranger