IGBC starts new year with ‘Daring to Drive’

Jan 02, 2018

Thomaston — The Thomaston Intergenerational Book Club will discuss “Daring to Drive: a Saudi Woman's Awakening” by Manal al-Sharif Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 2:30 p.m. in the main room of the library, located in the Thomaston Academy building on Main Street/Route 1.

The second daughter of a taxi driver, al-Sharif was born the year fundamentalism took hold and grew up in Mecca. In her adolescence, she was a religious radical, melting her brother’s boy band cassettes in the oven because music was haram — forbidden by Islamic law. But getting an education made a big difference; by her twenties, she was a computer security engineer, one of few women working in a desert compound that resembled suburban America.

There, the Saudi kingdom’s contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues; her teenage brother chaperoned her on a business trip; and, while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel. “Daring to Drive” is the fiercely intimate memoir of an accidental activist, a powerfully vivid story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men — and won.

On the third Tuesday of every month, the Intergenerational Book Club, a group of men and women of all ages, comes together at the library to share opinions and ideas about the book selection. All are welcome. Those who live in Thomaston and would like to attend but need a ride should call the library at 354-2453 a week before the discussion.

All books may be borrowed in print or on Kindle. The selection for Feb. 20 is “Our Souls at Night” by Kent Haruf. For the complete list of all the books chosen for 2018, visit thomaston.lib.me.us.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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