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Robert Madrygin for "The Solace of Trees"

  • SubText Books 6 West 5th Street Saint Paul, MN, 55102 United States (map)

Join us in the store on Saturday, September 9th at 7:00 PM for a reading and book signing with Robert Madrygin, author of "The Solace of Trees." It's a piercing and resonant debut novel about war and the endurance of the human spirit. You won't want to miss this event!

"The Solace of Trees" tells the story of Amir, a young boy of secular Muslim heritage who witnesses his family’s murder in the Bosnian War. Amir hides in a forest, mute and shocked, among refugees fleeing for their lives. Narrowly escaping death in rural Bosnia, he finds sanctuary in a UN camp. After a charity relocates him to the United States, the retired professor who fosters Amir learns that the boy holds a shameful secret concerning his parents’ and sister’s deaths. Amir’s years in the US bring him healing and a loving place in a new family. In college, as a film studies major, he falls in love⎯and he accepts the request of an Islamic Studies professor to work on a documentary film on the plight of Palestinians. 9/11 comes, and with it, the arrest of the professor. As Amir enters adulthood, his destiny brings him full circle back to the darkness he thought he’d forever escaped.

Described from the perspective of a child victim, "The Solace of Trees" is the lesser-told story of the tragedy of war, from the Bosnian War to the US policy of government-sponsored abductions. A tale shared by countless victims in countless times and places, "The Solace of Trees" is at once a page-turner and a work of beauty and insight. It is a sobering look at a hidden cost of war and an affirmation of the human spirit from those who survive the ordeal. 

Robert Madrygin spent his early years in postwar Japan, where his father, a US military lawyer, defended the rights of Japanese POWs. Numerous moves followed across the US and Europe. As an adult, Madrygin lived with his wife and three children in Ecuador and Barcelona. He built a successful business and yet worked also in India managing a worldwide holistic conference and in post-Tsunami Thailand. In spring 2017 he will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina. He and his wife live in Brattleboro, Vermont.

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