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Pamela Laskin wins international fiction prize

Why No Bhine (Why No Goodbye) cover rendering (art by Bashar Ericsoossi)
Why No Bhine (Why No Goodbye) cover rendering. Art by Bashar Ericsoossi.

Pamela Laskin, a lecturer in the English Department at The City College of New York, is one of two winners of Leapfrog Fiction's International Contest for 2018 for her book, Why No Bhine (Why No Goodbye), a young adult novel in verse. The story is told from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old boy who has been left behind in Myanmar when his mother and three of his siblings escaped to Malaysia. The boy, Jubair, writes angry letters to his mother, which she will never get to see. Meanwhile, his mother manages to smuggle letters to him, but he never reads them; he is too enraged over what he perceives to be his abandonment.

The Rohingya Muslims, around whom the novel unfolds, are the target of intense racial profiling, political persecution and genocide. Laskin has worked closely with Fortify Rights, a human rights organization in that regional area whose explicit mission is the protection of Rohingya citizens.

The book will be published in Fall 2019 by Leapfrog Press, a New York based imprint founded by the authors Marge Piercy and Ira Wood.

Laskin also directs CCNY’s Poetry Outreach Center and teaches Children’s Writing in the MFA Division. She is the author of five books of poetry, several picture books, and the lyrical novel Ronit & Jamil, a Palestinian/Israeli reimagining of Romeo and Juliet.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its role at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.




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