WXXI AM News

Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, June 11

Jun 11, 2019

First hour: Discussing dystopian fiction and the staying power of the novel "1984"

Second hour: How anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, and Islamophobia connect

George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “1984,” was published 70 years ago this week. In a recent piece for the “New Yorker,” Louis Menand writes that unlike other books with similar themes, “1984” has remarkable staying power – “an amazing run as a work of political prophecy” – as it looked at a world 35 years into the future. In 2017, the novel saw a surge in sales and rose to the top of the Amazon best-seller list. This hour, we sit down with fiction writers and creative writing teachers to discuss why the book’s success continues, and what a dystopian novel written today might predict for a future 35 years from now. Our guests:

  • Christine Green, freelance literary arts journalist and teaching artist
  • Greg Gerard, author of "In Jupiter's Shadow," editor of the Big Brick Review, and creative writing teacher at Writers & Books
  • Alex Sanchez, author of "Rainbow Boys" and other teen novels, who is currently working on a graphic novel for DC Comics

Then in our second hour, a recent event at the Islamic Center of Rochester asked how anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, and Islamophobia connect. A number of young activists joined together to answer that question, and to discuss how to counter white supremacy. We'll talk to some of those activists about what they learned. In studio:

  • Mara Ahmed, activist, artist, and filmmaker at Neelum Films
  • Assata Evans, sophomore at World of Inquiry School, and restorative practices trainer
  • Samiha Islam, junior at Brighton High School, and co-president of the Brighton High School Muslim Student Association
  • Milo Ehrenberg, nursing student and member of the Rochester chapter of the Jewish Voice for Peace