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About the book:

"Poetry is a river / And solitude a bridge. / Through writing / We cross it, / Through reading / We Return." So writes Lebanese poet Kaissar Afif in Naomi Shihab Nye's aesthetically stunning anthology of poetry and paintings from the Middle East, The Space Between Our Footsteps. As Afif's poem beckons, so does Nye, inviting readers into a lush, vivid world in which more than 100 poets from 19 different Middle Eastern countries share their innermost feelings about place, family, war, and peace, scattered amid paintings reflecting pain, hope, and joy with rich, bold strokes.

Palestinian American poet, novelist, and anthologist Nye has made a name for herself with critically acclaimed books such as the autobiographical novel Habibi and the striking poetry collections This Same Sky and I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You. This anthology rivals her previous work in both beauty and inspiration, and was nominated by the Young Adult Library Services Association as one of 1998's Best Books for Young Adults.

But this collection is not for teens only. The personal yet universal sentiments expressed in these poems and paintings will pierce hearts of all ages--as in Sharif S. Elmusa's "But I Heard the Drops": "My father had a reservoir / of tears. / They trickled down / unseen. / But I heard the drops / drip/from his voice / like drops / from a loosened tap. / For thirty years I heard them." Notes on the contributors round out the collection and help bring footsteps a world apart just a little closer together. --Brangien Davis

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