Sunday, May 17, 2015
Our May Author: Emily Parker
This month we are reading Emily Parker's Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground, a look at the role of internet activism in China, Cuba and Russia. Parker has a personal website with biographical information and links to articles she has written, all worth a look. She would be fit right in at a Rights Readers discussion based on the Wall Street Journal profiles she has written of such luminaries as Marjane Satrapi, Mario Vargas Llhosa, Alaa Al Aswany, Junot Diaz, Muhammad Yunus, Ha Jin, Salmon Rushdie and Haruki Murakami, all of whom we have read. Of course reading a book like this gets you to wondering about the role of technology in other countries and I've personally bookmarked her articles for The New Yorker on Vietnam and Hong Kong for follow-up.
For a TED-like summary of the contents of the book, I recommend this video from Personal Democracy Forum. If you've read the book already, I recommend Parker's conversation with Ann Marie Slaughter above or this offering from the National Endowment for Democracy, both of which feature well-informed interlocutors and great audience questions.
Interviews are available at The Rumpus and The Diplomat. I especially enjoyed Guernica's exchange between Parker and novelist Yiyun Li. You'll want to move her novel onto your "to-read" pile. The Los Angeles Review of Books assigned a different reviewer to each of the sections of her book which provides great insights into the strengths and weaknesses of her arguments.
Finally, be sure to check out Amnesty International's concerns regarding internet censorship and take action on behalf of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi.