Delphine Minoui, a recipient of the Albert Londres Prize for her reporting on Iraq and Iran, is a Middle East correspondent for Le Figaro. Born in Paris in 1974 to a French mother and an Iranian father, she now lives in Istanbul. She is the author of I'm Writing You From Tehran and The Book Collectors.
I was so moved by this account of the young rebels of Daraya, Syria, who, in the midst of a four-year blockade by Assad's forces (including having poison gas used against them), set up a library with books rescued from bombed and destroyed buildings, an underground (in both senses of the word) library that grew to more than 15,000 titles, ranging from Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People to Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, and everything in between. In this testimony to the power of reading, these lines stood out: 'Books are their best way to escape the war, if only temporarily. A melody of words against the dirge of bombs.' -- Nancy Pearl, author of <i>Book Lust</i> and <i>George and Lizzie</i> Absolutely essential reading. With masterful storytelling, Delphine Minoui recounts the struggle and tenacity of the youth of Daraya who, in the shadow of a merciless war, rescue books from the rubble and bring to life a library unlike any other. Each page connects us to their strength and their spirit as well as to the power of words in a crumbling world. This book is an ode to resistance, to freedom, and to life. -- Negar Djavadi, author of <i>Disoriental</i> This compassionate portrayal of an engaging group of rebels serves as a testament to both the resilience of the human spirit and to the power of story. * Library Journal * An extraordinary story . . . Heartbreaking, inspiring, and beautifully told -- Kirkus Reviews This is an urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion. Delphine Minoui has crafted a book that champions books and the individuals who risk everything to preserve them. -- Susan Orlean, author of <i>The Library Book</i>