Sixty years ago, the United Nations took a moral stand against human rights crimes and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a proclamation of thirty rights that belong to us all, starting memorably with Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal.”
Now, an array of internationally acclaimed writers have chosen one of the thirty rights as the inspiration for a short story. Published in association with Amnesty International, the result is a mix of thoughtful, serious, funny, and thrilling stories that harness the power of literature to celebrate—and affirm—our shared humanity.
Ranging from the surreal to the subtle, this sweeping anthology illustrates the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and features a contributor list that reads like a who's who of leading writers from across the globe, including David Mitchell, Joyce Carol Oates, Paulo Coelho, Mahmoud Saeed, Yann Martel, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In Kate Atkinson's "The War on Women," Britain passes a law requiring women to stay home and wear the burqa. A group of neighbors in a housing project takes justice into their own hands in Walter Mosley's "The Trial." The protagonist of James Meek's "The Kind of Neighbor You Used to Have" discovers how little risk his neighbors are willing to take to avert injustice. Banana Yoshimoto's "A Special Boy" delves into the effects of a mother's abandonment of her son. The narrator of Ali Smith's "The Go-Between" occupies the space between oppression and freedom--literally--as he attempts to move from Morocco into Spain. Vibrant and often chilling, these stories paint a rousing picture of the continuing battle to ensure basic human dignity. (Jan.)