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Pasadena In Focus
January - February 2010

Love and Culture Collide in One City, One Story

Immerse yourself in a tale of love, sacrifice, culture and faith this spring with Pasadena’s One City, One Story community reading of the novel “Gardens of Water.”

Sponsored by Pasadena Public Library, the eighth annual program invites readers of all ages, interests and backgrounds to focus on a single book and share their perspectives at community get-togethers.

The 2010 selection is sure to spark conversation. Set in a small town outside Istanbul, the novel follows devout Muslim Sinan Basioglu and his wife, Nilüfer. As they prepare for their 9-year-old son’s coming-of-age ceremony, their headstrong 15-year-old daughter, Irem, resents the strict rules and dark head scarf that keep her hidden from the world. Irem develops a secret relationship with a 17-year-old American neighbor, Dylan, whom she sees as a ticket out of her conservative life. Her father soon grows suspicious of the relationship and seeks to move the family but a massive earthquake changes his plans. Losing everything, the Basioglus are forced to live as refugees, depending on their American neighbors. As love develops between Irem and Dylan, Sinan makes a series of decisions that will change everyone’s lives forever.

“Gardens of Water” marks the fiction debut of Alan Drew, an author born and raised in Southern California who has traveled extensively through Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Drew taught English for three years in Istanbul, arriving four days before a devastating 1999 earthquake. He lives with his wife and children in Pennsylvania and teaches at Villanova University.

A community dialogue with the author Sunday, March 14, at the Pasadena Convention Center is just one of a long list of book discussions, film series, lectures and activities planned this spring.

For the latest schedule visit www.onecityonestory.com or call (626) 744-7270.