“Most of the town is at the book burning, so I should be safe,” Samira Ahmed's narrator, Layla Amin, discloses at the outset of the writer's new novel, Internment. Ahmed's chilling parable is set in the near future, in a time when Muslim-American citizens have been rounded up and placed in camps. If that scenario sounds improbable, one has only to recall the internment of Japanese-American families in this country during World War II, when the hysteria and xenophobia of the era relatively quickly led to the unthinkable — the mass incarceration of peaceful American citizens — or of the current humanitarian catastrophe of immigrant families being separated at the border. The novel unfolds in startling detail via Ahmed's stark, clear, bold prose style.
Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., March 26, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com.
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