The Exeter Community Library welcomes author E.R. Ramzipoor on Monday, October 7th at 7 p.m. Ramzipoor’s program is the first of the Literatour Berks series presented by the Jewish Federation of Reading/Berks in conjunction with both the Exeter Community Library and Sinking Spring Public Library.
Ramzipoor’s debut novel “The Ventriloquists” is set in Belgium during the Second World War and follows a ragtag gang of journalists as they publish underground newspapers to battle Nazi propaganda on their own terms. The book, according to Ramzipoor, was inspired by true events.
“I discovered this story while working on my undergrad thesis at UC Berkeley, which was on how resistance movements use underground literature to organize and mobilize. While reading a document prepared by the U.S. War Office after World War II, I saw a line about a group of Belgian writers who wrote a fake newspaper and were able to produce 60,000 copies before the Nazis discovered what they were doing. I did some more digging and uncovered a fascinating, but forgotten, story,” Ramzipoor says.
“The Ventriloquists” is a tale about a group of people who are willing to die for a joke, and it’s not a story that’s been told before. Typical World War II stories focus on thrilling tales of sacrifice and heroism, but rarely is humor involved. Ramzipoor’s book details the lives of extremely brave, selfless, and creative individuals, but also individuals with an incredible sense of humor. According to Ramzipoor, in the right hands, satire is an invaluable tool that illuminates uncomfortable truths.
She says, “Resistance to oppression comes in myriad forms and is often more colorful and creative than we might expect. Journalists, writers, librarians, academics and readers…Each of these thinkers has a part to play in the fight against ignorance. That was true during World War II, and it’s true now.”
Copies of “The Ventriloquists” will be available for sale on site thanks to Reads & Company Bookshop, and Ramzipoor will be signing books after the event. To register for the event, please call 610-406-9431 or visit the Exeter Community Library.
The Exeter Community Library aims to serve the community as a center of learning, accessible recreation, practical tools, and nearly 500 free programs designed for children and adults to participate in throughout the year. For hours of operation, visit www.berkscountylibraries.org/exeter.