Between the Lines Book Club: International Adoption and India

between the lines book club logoOverseas adoption can be a wonderful way to help your family grow and to help a child in the process. However, due to cultural differences and lack of oversight, overseas adoptions can also cause harm, placing children whose parents had no intention of surrendering them for adoption with well-intentioned adoptive parents. In some cases, this is due to confusion or lack of means to reunite the child and the family. For instance, Saroo, the author of Lion, had a loving parent to return to but no way for workers to find her.

However, in other cases, children may be kidnapped and sold (brokers make big money for providing children to adoption agencies), or sold by a parent. Sometimes parents  believe that the children are going to the USA for an education with the expectation that the children will be coming back, only to lose all contact with them forever.

The problems with International adoptions, and the lack of good solutions for children, is not unique to India. This CNN article discusses some of the pitfalls of International Adoption. Meanwhile, the New Yorker has a lovely first-hand story of a family who adopted a child from Haiti. It includes some of the troubled history of international adoptions in the past and today.

Comic-Con and Clarkesworld News

Ger Ready for 2018 Comic Con logoHey guys! Two pieces of news today!

#1: My essay “The Monster at the Movies: Film Adaptations of Frankenstein” is in Issue 142 of Clarkesworld Magazine. I’m so honored to be published here! You can also find my essay “Aliens Among Us: Cephalopods in Science Fiction and Fantasy” in Issue 138.

#2: I’m moderating a panel at San Diego Comic-Con! Please join us for:

Happy Birthday Frankenstein!

This upcoming Halloween, there will be an international celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. And with that comes a plethora of books and movies rejoicing this occasion. At this panel, listen to authors talk about the influence that Mary Shelley’s writing had on their works and why people still obsess over Frankenstein. And watch as they talk about the monsters that never die in their own novels. Good luck sleeping tonight! Panelists include Merrie Destefano (Shade series), Leslie S. Klinger (The New Annotated Frankenstein), Jonathan Maberry (Glimpse, V-Wars), Kiersten White (Bright We Burn and The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein), and Carrie Sessarego of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

The panel will be on Saturday, July 21, in Room 7AB. See you there!

Between the Lines Book Club: Lion at the Movies

between the lines book club logoThis month our book club pick is Lion, originally published under the title A Long Way Home. We will meet to discuss the book on July 28 2018, at 10:30AM, at Arden Dimick Library.

A Long Way Home was made into a movie called Lion in 2016. At that time, the book was republished with the new title, Lion, to match the movie. Because the movie was such a big hit, conversation about the book and the movie are intertwined.

When the movie came out, a lot of people did interviews, including the real-life people from the story. Here’s an interview with Saroo and his mother, Sue Brierley. It’s pretty basic until near the end, at about the 5 minute mark, when Sue talks about how she knew what kind of mother Saroo had had when she first met him because of the characteristics he showed at that age of four or five.

 

In this interview, Saroo talks about his childhood experience and the difficulites he had searching for his birth family. At the end there’s footage of the two moms meeting for the first time.

 

Here, of course, is the movie trailer:

 

Between the Lines Book Club: Lion, by Saroo Brierley

between the lines book club logoThis month our book club pick is Lion, originally published under the title A Long Way Home. In this memoir, Saroo Brierley tells the story of how he searched for his Indian birth mother, after having been separated from his family at the age of five, adopted by an Australian couple, and being raised in Australia. The book was made into a movie in 2016. We will meet to discuss the book on July 28 2018, at 10:30AM, at Arden Dimick Library.

When Saroo was growing up in India, he and his siblings used to scavenge train stations for food. While looking for his older brother, he climbed into a train car and found himself hundreds of miles from home, unable to remember his last name or the name of his hometown. Eventually he was taken to an orphanage and adopted by Australian parents.

As an adult, Saroo used Google Earth to find his home town. The story involves themes of poverty, class, and family. The movie based on the book, which was released in 2016, was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

You can join us for in-person Book Club on July 28th, or leave comments here. What did you think of the story?

 

 

 

 

 

Downtime

Ger Ready for 2018 Comic Con logo
I will be out for the next couple of weeks. Am packing for San Diego Comic-Con! Looking forward to seeing family, seeing friends, seeing the beach, and of course seeing SDCC! Will I brave Hall H? Will I blow my daughter’s college fund on books? Will I turn a corner and meet Tom Hiddleston, and if so will he look deeply into my eyes and say, “Darling, your husband is so lucky to have you?” Will Patty Jenkins cast me in her next Wonder Woman movie? STAY TUNED.

Katniss salutes District 11

Know Your Rights

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Your move, D.C.

Celebrate this Fourth of July with a refresher. What does the Bill of rights actually say? Here’s a copy to peruse while you wait for the fireworks to start! Copied from The Bill of Rights Institute.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS – FULL TEXT

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.