Watch the video of Karima Bennoune’s talk at TEDxExeter 2014.
Scroll down the page for biographical information and news.
Video and Live blogging
Karima Bennoune seeks to give a voice to people who are living under Islamist fundamentalist repression.
One day, when she was a student and staying with her father in Algiers, she woke up to pounding on the front door. She found herself wondering whether she could protect him – a teacher of evolution – with a paring knife. Luckily, the potential attacker went away. Her father refused to leave the country, and continued to write.
Her book “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here” contains many untold stories from the peaceful fight against Muslim fundamentalism, based on interviews with 300 people.
The dark decade of the 1990s showed that the popular struggle against fundamentalism is one of the most important but overlooked struggles in the world today, and that these local people need our support.
Many people of Muslim heritage are staunch opponents of fundamentalism and terrorism, for good reason… they are much more likely to be the targets. Only 15% of Al Qaeda’s victims in 2004-08 were westerners.
Karima uses the definition: Fundamentalisms (note the plural) are political movements on the extreme right, which in the context of globalisation manipulate religion to achieve their political aims.
These fundamentalist movements have their diversities – some are more violent, some are NGOs, some form political parties. She’s talking about the extreme right, offensive wherever they occur. They are movements which seek to curtail the rights of minority groups and rights to practise religion, and conduct an all-out war against women.
There has been an increase in discrimination against Muslims recently. Telling the stories of individual Muslims struggling against fundamentalism will help to challenge this discrimination. She has four stories: of Peerzada, a theatre group in Pakistan staging girls school theatre; Maria Bashir, the first female prosecutor in Afghanistan; Burhan Hassan and his uncle Abdirizak Bihi, trying to counter Al Shabaab’s recruitment in Minneapolis to carry out atrocities like the Westgate bombing in Nairobi; Amel Zenoune-Zouani, a woman law student in Algiers, who refused to give up her studies, and was taken off a bus and killed in the street.
Amel’s name means hope, the hope of telling stories and carrying on their lives despite the terrorism. It is not enough just to battle terrorism. We must also challenge fundamentalism, which makes the bed for terrorism. Karima wants us to commit to support people like Amel, who peacefully challenge terrorism and fundamentalism in their own communities.
Karima Bennoune’s talk from TEDxExeter 2014 had already been featured by TED editors among their selections on the TED.com home page, and we’re delighted that the talk itself has now been published on TED.com. Together with the talks by Bandi Mbubi and Scilla Elworthy at TEDxExeter 2012, that makes three!
Update: As of 11 August, our three TED Talks have now reached a combined viewing total of over 2 million! We think this is truly amazing, but not surprising considering their content and the emotion of the speakers. So to see why these powerful are so popular, give all three a watch, then let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.
Karima has written a message for the people of TEDxExeter:
It is so very meaningful for me to be able to share on TED.com the stories of some of those challenging fundamentalism in Muslim majority contexts, stories which have never been so relevant given events from Iraq to Nigeria since I gave my talk in Exeter at the end of March. I am deeply grateful to the TEDxExeter team, and everyone at TED.com for all their work on this and support.
It is not an easy job to turn a 342 page book (Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism) into an 18 minute talk. The guidance and encouragement provided to me by the wonderful volunteers at TEDxExeter over two months made a huge contribution. I remember thinking in January – “why are they asking me to work on this now? The talk is in March.” But, I found that it really did take two months to shape the diverse stories into this format.
I will never forget the electric atmosphere at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter on the day when I was able to share all of this work with more than 460 people – people who really seemed to care. Recently, I was able to show the resulting video – which includes pictures of their own murdered family members – to survivors at the offices of Djazairouna, the Algerian Association of Victims of Islamist Terror from the 1990s. It seemed to mean a lot to them to know that, thanks to the unique TED platform, people around the world may now share some of their sorrow, and may even do something about it. Maybe for once their voices will be heard. For that, I will be eternally grateful to all at TEDxExeter and especially to Claire Kennedy.
Please help share these stories – tweet, email, post, skywrite… To take action to support people like those in the video, kindly visit wluml.org or any of the other wonderful groups listed under my recommendations on TED.com.
In gratitude and friendship, Karima
Karima has also written an article for the TED blog about “The untold stories of the heroes fighting fundamentalism”. You can watch Karima’s talk here. And don’t forget, the other TEDxExeter talks are available on this site and on the TEDx YouTube channel.
Karima Bennoune’s talk – sharing stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities – was a highlight of TEDxExeter 2014, and has now been featured on TED.com and watched by more than 1.25m people. She has recorded a video update for us.
She didn’t dream that the battle would be even harder now, against the ideology of IS. Has the West stood with the people within the Muslim countries that are fighting these fundamentalisms? They have continued to cosy up to the Gulf states. Meanwhile, the UK has become an exporter of jihadists. Karima’s contacts in the US are standing against fundamentalists in their own US cities. Her contacts in Algeria have been beaten for displaying a banner listing the names of women killed. The authorities are silencing their people.
Karima asks us to raise our voices in their support, and to continue to share her original TED Talk. One of her stories was about Amel, a women killed in Algiers for studying law. Amel’s mother died recently. There was little healing for her, where there is no justice and little opportunity for remembrance. But hope (which is the meaning of Amel) lives on when stories are shared.
Karima’s father wrote an open letter: “Your movement is the negation of reason, democracy, common sense and Islamic universal values. It is doomed to fail.” We need to work together to make this so.
Karima has felt much anger this year, at the atrocities and at the Western response. She has written a poem “Why I hate Islamic State”, a gut-wrenching conclusion.
Karima Bennoune is a professor of international law and Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall Research Scholar at the University of California–Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States and now lives in California.
In 2015, she was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. During her first year in post, she focused on the issue which will be the subject of her 2017 TEDxExeter talk – the intentional destruction of cultural heritage as a violation of human rights. She authored two reports, including one for the General Assembly that was endorsed by Maestro Placido Domingo. She also carried out related country missions to Cyprus, Serbia and Kosovo. As special rapporteur, she has worked hard to promote the recognition of cultural heritage as a human rights issue, taking this message to diverse gatherings organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNESCO, the Smithsonian Institution, NATO, and others and ultimately seeing this view endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. During the second year of her term, her priority will be the impact of diverse forms of fundamentalism and extremism on cultural rights.
In her personal capacity, she is the author of Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism, inspired by her father’s experiences in his native Algeria, and based on interviews with more than 300 people of Muslim heritage from more than 30 countries – including artists, museum directors, and cultural arts promoters – working against extremism and terror. The book won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2014, and was labelled one of the “books we should all be reading” by The Guardian. It was also the basis of her first TEDxExeter talk: When people of Muslim heritage confront fundamentalism which has been viewed nearly 1.4 million times.
She has appeared frequently on television and radio to discuss related issues, including on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox Business News, as well BBC Radio and National Public Radio, and has published widely in many leading academic journals, as well as in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian: Comment is Free, with Reuters and on the websites of the Huffington Post, Open Democracy and Al Jazeera English.
In 2016, she was honored by the International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law with its Rights and Leadership Award..
News about Karima Bennoune
Following the Orlando shooting on 12 June, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights Karima Bennoune condemned murderous hate and called for commentators to question how Islamist political ideology purveys hatred against many groups.
Writing in the Huffington Post, she says: “If a suspected Christian fundamentalist had carried out an attack like this, liberal commentators would rightly be questioning how the rhetoric of some homophobic Christian leaders might have fuelled the atrocity.
“As difficult as it is to do so appropriately in an atmosphere infused with discrimination against Muslims and terrifying Trumpism, if the Islamist inspiration of the Orlando murderer is confirmed, we will have to ask precisely the same questions. How has Islamist rhetoric inflamed homophobia and led to mass violence? Mateen’s armed, murderous hate is neither better nor worse because he was a Muslim. It is simply lamentable, to be condemned vociferously, should not be imputed to others who share his identity categories, but must be dissected, analyzed and fought mercilessly.”
Karima Bennoune, who is herself of Muslim heritage, spoke at TEDxExeter in 2014. In her talk, Your fatwa does not apply here, she told four powerful stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities — refusing to allow the faith they love to become a tool for crime, attacks and murder. These personal stories humanise one of the most overlooked human-rights struggles in the world.
Speaking about the Orlando shootings, she added: “we cannot be tolerant of intolerance either, whoever’s intolerance that may be. Tolerance of intolerance does not produce tolerance. We have to stand against the far right, whether Christian or Muslim, in the West or in Muslim majority contexts and without disappearing difficult realities behind politically correct platitudes.”
To read her full article, click here.
TEDxExeter’s Twitter account is the place to go for the latest news about our previous and upcoming speakers and performers. And here are a few bonus snippets.
Tomorrow, Karima Bennoune is giving the Edward Said memorial lecture at Warwick University. Her first report as UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights was recently released; click on “LATEST REPORT”.
Jenny Sealey’s theatre company Graeae and the Central Illustration Agency (CIA!) recently collaborated on a wide-ranging exhibition at The Guardian. “Reframing the Myth” celebrated 35 years of placing Deaf and disabled artists centre stage.
Deeyah Khan and Manwar Ali (Abu Muntasir) both featured in this BBC interview about the lure of ISIS. Deeyah Khan wrote in the HuffPost last June about how “We Must Tackle Extremism Without Compromising Freedom of Speech”.
Carmel McConnell was awarded her MBE on 19 February for services to school food. A slide from her TEDxExeter talk was featured at the TED conference in Vancouver, as Jay Herratti celebrated ideas coming through TEDx events around the world with a particular focus on food.
Patrick Holden was featured in a Guardian article about urban farming and equality.
And finally… Last week, Mike Dickson released a new book! “Our Generous Gene” is “A call to action illustrated with stories from ordinary people who are, to their surprise, already changing the world and seeing small actions ripple outwards for good… For a future of happiness and meaning we just need to develop the naturing, caring instincts we are born with and focus on creating a world, not acquiring it.”
In October, TEDxExeter alumna Karima Bennoune was appointed as a UN Special Rapporteur on culture. Sadly, her first statement in this capacity was about the Paris attacks: “Crime against humanity, crime against culture”. You can read it on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights website in English and French.
It is as necessary as ever to hear the message she gave in her talk at TEDxExeter 2014, “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism”, which is now featured on TED.com. In September 2014, she also wrote A Ten-Point Plan for Defeating ISIS and Muslim Fundamentalism, which covers the following in more detail:
- The international community must stand together.
- Our strategy must be cross-regional.
- Support must be given to people of Muslim heritage who oppose extremism.
- There must be an immediate humanitarian response to the desperate needs of those affected by ISIS brutality.
- We must not just battle terrorism, but fight the underlying fundamentalism.
- We have to dry up the funding sources of ISIS.
- Unequivocally defend women’s rights.
- The response to ISIS must respect international law.
- This is not a partisan issue.
- We must fight discrimination against Muslims everywhere.
Thankfully, Karima’s is not the only sane voice amidst the empty rhetoric and hate-mongering. Deeyah Khan is a documentary film-maker and activist. Shortly after the Paris attacks, she wrote in the Guardian about how “Together, we can conquer Isis’s savage world view”, and in the Evening Standard about British extremists’ path to radicalisation and their warped world of hyper-masculinity. Deeyah’s film “Jihad” explores the root causes and appeal of radical extremism to young Muslims in The West. “Banaz – A Love Story” tells the story of Banaz Mahmod: her murder by her own family in an ‘honour killing’, and how the police finally brought them to justice.
Congratulations to Scilla Elworthy, whose talk on “Fighting with nonviolence” has now been watched more than 1 million times on TED.com!
“How do you deal with a bully without becoming a thug? In this wise and soulful talk, peace activist Scilla Elworthy maps out the skills we need — as nations and individuals — to fight extreme force without using force in return. To answer the question of why and how nonviolence works, she evokes historical heroes — Aung San Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela — and the personal philosophies that powered their peaceful protests.”
Subtitles are available in 31 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Persian, several Far East and Southeast Asian, and many European languages.
Also, at the time of writing,
- Karima Bennoune’s talk on “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism” has been watched 1,279,000 times, with subtitles available in 23 languages
- Harry Baker’s “A love poem for lonely prime numbers” 785,000 times, with subtitles in 9 languages [how do they do that?!]
- and Bandi Mbubi’s impassioned plea to “Demand a fair trade cell phone” 520,000 times, with subtitles in 28 languages.
The videos of the talks at TEDxExeter are just being finalised before being uploaded. We hope they’ll be available in about a week.
Every month, TEDxBarcelona hold a salon event, in which they screen a TED or TEDx talk, share questions and opinions in discussion, and continue the conversation over tapas. In February this year, TEDxBarcelonaSalon featured Karima Bennoune’s talk from TEDxExeter 2014. José Cruset from TEDxBarcelona kindly passed on some insights from the discussion.
We wanted to discuss about fundamentalism because it is a hot topic right now. And from the talks I found about islam, fundamentalism, terrorism, arabic countries, etc., this one was (to my mind) the best. It was personal, very positive and inspiring, and it was very TED (especially the usage of the watch and the time the watch stopped, at 5:17). Great talk, unforgettable.
The discussion was very good because we had some people with knowledge about islam within our group. I was a bit afraid before the event about the outcome. But afterwards I was very relieved.
When people signed up we asked them beforehand to send us questions they would like to discuss. These questions helped to structure the discussion. The first and most important question was: What is the reason for islamic fundamentalism? The main answers were: education and poverty. Some people reminded us that fundamentalism is not tied to any religion. We even talked about nationalism and related terrorism (like we had in Spain with ETA).
One of our volunteers gave me this summary [which I translated from the Spanish and Oriana corrected]:
The lack of education is not necessarily the reason for the rise of fundamentalism.
- Include Religious studies and Information and communications technology in schools as a preventive measure, and create opportunities for reflection for young people.
Hypocrisy and double standards in the West: what do we do / what can we do as citizens?
Religion is not the cause of fundamentalism, but becomes a tool that is easy to use to cultivate it.
- The hatred of the unknown is a way to plant the seed of fundamentalism.
- Religion is a tool which was originally intended to help, but historically has been used to repress the people; anything can be used as an excuse.
- The prophet never politicized Islam. But historically there have been groups who over time have used it to their advantage.
Immigrants in Western countries: integration into the system or thriving in the system?
We are all responsible: some by omission and others by commission.
The language rivalries (eg in the Basque Country) must be overcome.
We are thrilled that Karima’s talk has prompted such discussion and reflection, and that it continues to be watched on TED.com, now passing 1.25 million views.
“please know how many human rights activists around the world — especially women — are grateful to you. They stand with you in your struggle for girls’ empowerment and for unfettered access to education. In Muslim majority countries and in the diasporas, they also stand with you to fight against the extremism which blocks these advances. You are a true hero, and as you know, you are also one of a peaceful army of thousands doing this work.”
Both Karima’s TEDxExeter 2014 talk “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism” and Scilla Elworthy’s TEDxExeter 2012 talk “Fighting with non-violence” are now featured among the ten talks on the TED.com playlist The Road to Peace: “Peace. It’s humanity’s eternal, elusive dream. These speakers offer inspired ideas, practical advice and real-world examples from around the globe of how it just might be attainable.”
It has just been announced that Karima Bennoune has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction for her book “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism”. This is a huge achievement, and we at TEDxExeter are so excited for her!
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global understanding. Launched in 2006, it has already established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious literary honors, and is the only literary peace prize awarded in the United States. As an offshoot of the Dayton Peace Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize awards a $10,000 cash prize each year to one fiction and one nonfiction author whose work advances peace as a solution to conflict, and leads readers to a better understanding of other cultures, peoples, religions, and political points of view.
In accepting the prize, Karima said: “Winning the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction for Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism is deeply meaningful – especially now – because the prize recognizes the unfathomable courage shown by so many people of Muslim heritage around the world – from Iraq to my father’s home country Algeria and beyond – in their often life-threatening struggles against extremism. These are the stories told in the book, and in our turbulent times such critical voices of tolerance and hope from Muslim majority societies must be heard internationally, but often are not. The DLPP is making an invaluable contribution to changing that. Given the mission of the prize, there is no other award that would mean more to me or to so many of those in the book – victims of terror who organized against its perpetrators, women who filled bomb craters with flowers, journalists who defied machine guns armed only with pens, artists who could not be censored by death threats (or worse), feminists who demanded the right to have human rights, secularists who spoke out, mullahs who risked their lives to revive the enlightened Islam of our grandparents. I share the prize with all of them. For me, the award is ultimately a much-needed recognition that fundamentalism is a threat to peace, and that those who challenge extremism and jihadist violence in their own communities are waging a battle for true peace, and deserve global recognition and support. That is the message I tried to get across in Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here. I am sincerely grateful to the selection committee and to the organizers of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for helping to share this message by selecting the book, and I am honored to receive this very special prize.”
Karima Bennoune’s talk is watched 1 million times
We’re delighted that Karima Bennoune’s talk “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism” passed 1,000,000 views on Sunday evening! So delighted, in fact, that we issued a press release. We’re also very pleased that the transcript of the talk is available in 12 languages, from Hebrew to Japanese, with Arabic due to be published soon.
The talk has had a major impact on Karima’s work.
On the anniversary of 9/11, she was interviewed on Capital Radio: “President Barack Obama has made his case for airstrikes against the militant Islamic group ISIS in the Middle East. But has the world community focused enough on supporting Muslims who oppose fundamentalism and terrorism as a way of defeating Islamic extremism? And how has Muslim fundamentalism changed 13 years after Sept. 11?”
Also on the anniversary of 9/11, Open Democracy re-published the second and third parts of her father Mahfoud Bennoune’s 1994 article “How Fundamentalism Produced a Terrorism without precedent” that Karima had translated. Part one was published back in May. She says: “Sadly, in light of events in Iraq and elsewhere, it has never been so relevant. I hope this may be of interest, as it discusses both the history and the ideology of jihadism and fundamentalism.” Here are the links:
- Part 1 – Algeria and Nigeria: sharing the deadweight of human mindlessness
- Part 2 – From 1990s Algeria to 9/11 and ISIS: understanding the history of “Homo Islamicus Fundamentalensis”
- Part 3 – From 1990s Algeria to Iraq today: trampling Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad
And Karima’s book “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here” has been nominated among the non-fiction finalists for the prestigious Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, this prize is “the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to promote peace.”
But most important of all is the impact that interest in the talk is having among Muslims in Algeria and elsewhere.
The support groups in Algeria are moved and heartened to know that so many care and want to be informed about their lives, their realities. In view of all the terrible news right now it is so important that so many people are listening to the voices of those who can help us understand this best.
One of the stories Karima shared was that of Algerian law student Amel Zenoune-Zouani, who was murdered in January 1997 by the Armed Islamic Group. Amel was only 22. She was killed for having dreams of a legal career and refusing to give up her studies at law school. Yet Amel’s name means “hope”. Hope can be found in the strength of her family and all the other families to continue telling their stories and to go on with their lives despite the terrorism. And hope can be found everywhere that women and men continue to defy the jihadis.
The world came to Exeter at TEDxExeter 2014. We were honoured to host Karima, and challenged to become part of something larger than ourselves. We want to encourage everyone to watch her talk at TED.com. As Karima says, “It is not enough… just to battle terrorism. We must also challenge fundamentalism, because fundamentalism is the ideology that makes the bed of this terrorism.”
Simon Peyton-Jones’ talk to be distributed to secondary schools
Simon spoke in his talk of Computing at School, the grass-roots organisation he chairs, which is at the centre of the challenge of training teachers across the country to teach computing. Those who were there, or who have watched the video since, may remember he gave a call to action: if you are an IT professional, get involved; if not, at least talk to your local schools.
“Quickstart Computing: a toolkit for secondary teachers” is a Computing at School initiative funded by Microsoft and the Department for Education, to help train teachers for the new Computing curriculum. One of the things Quickstart is doing is to develop a CPD package of training materials for teachers, for distribution free to every school. It will be launched in January at BETT 2015, the British Educational Training and Technology Show. The package will include Simon’s talk, available both on CD and online. The aims are to provide the context for the challenge, and to motivate and give experienced teachers the confidence to teach computing.
We’re thrilled that Simon’s talk will be used in this way, and that TEDxExeter will have a legacy in education, through inspiring teachers to inspire the next generation of computer scientists.
Karima and Scilla Elworthy’s talks are featured on 3 playlists
Karima’s talk is featured on a powerful TED.com playlist:
- Insights on Terrorism. It’s a solemn subject—one of the harsh realities of our world. Here, speakers with insightful thoughts on why terrorism continues … and what we can do to stop it.
And Scilla’s talk “Fighting with non-violence” is nearing the 1 million mark too. It is now on two TED.com playlists:
- Freedom Rising : From the Arab Spring to the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, a new generation of freedom fighters — entrepreneurs, journalists, activists — shares powerful stories of resistance against dictatorships and oppression.
- The Road to Peace : Peace. It’s humanity’s eternal, elusive dream. These speakers offer inspired ideas, practical advice and real-world examples from around the globe of how it just might be attainable.
Save the date!
The next TEDxExeter event takes place on 24 April 2015 at the Exeter Northcott Theatre, with the theme “Taking the Long View”.
We would be interested in hearing from you if your company would like to sponsor TEDxExeter 2015.
Exciting news! Karima Bennoune’s 2014 TEDxExeter talk “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here” has been selected as one of TEDx’s Weekly Editor’s Picks. This is a huge achievement and offers a real opportunity for her ideas to reach a significant, global audience.
A veteran of twenty years of human rights research and activism, Karima Bennoune draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews to illuminate the inspiring stories of those who represent one of the best hopes for ending fundamentalist oppression worldwide. In this powerful talk Karima gives voice to individual Muslims struggling against fundamentalism and terrorism.
Karima is a professor of international law at the University of California Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States and now lives in northern California.
We now have a fantastic opportunity to help spread Karima’s ideas even more widely. Please share her talk with your networks, on Facebook, and on Twitter using the hashtags #TEDxExeter #TED #KarimaBennoune.
If you know any NGOs, faith groups, activists or journalists or who would be interested in her work please share it with them too and ask them to spread the word.
Some news from Hazel Stuteley, one of our speakers past…
Since TEDxExeter 2013, the Connecting Communities (known as C2) programme has now spread to India! As part of the ‘Community Centred Medicine’ workstream within the College of Medicine, Hazel was invited to speak at the Global Health Futures conference in Bangalore in November sponsored by the World Health Organisation. Other speakers included fellow TEDx presenter Sir Jonathan Porritt, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and HRH Prince of Wales. The focus of the conference was to define solutions to tackle the impending crisis caused by the ‘silent epidemic’ of preventable long term chronic disease. C2 has a track record of preventing the health behaviours which lead to these conditions and following Hazel’s presentation,she was invited back to India in 2014 to deliver a 3 day C2 learning programme to equip practitioners there with the skills and mindset needed to promote community resilience and self-management.
…and Karima Bennoune, one of our speakers future…
Karima’s book “Your Fatwa does not apply here” has been chosen by the American Library Association to feature on their Booklist Editors’ Choice list for 2013. The Editors selected titles which are representative of the year’s outstanding books for public library collections. Their scope is intentionally broad, and they attempted to find books that combine literary, intellectual, and aesthetic excellence with popular appeal.