A reading from The Gospel of Trees and a conversation with Krista Bremer, fellow Rona Jaffe Writers' Awards recipient and associate publisher at The Sun magazine, author of A Tender Struggle.
Fifteen years ago, Krista Bremer, a California-bred feminist, surfer, and aspiring journalist, met Ismail Suayah, sincere, passionate, kind, yet from a very different world. One of eight siblings born in an impoverished fishing village in Libya, Ismail was raised a Muslim—and his faith informed his life. When Krista and Ismail made the decision to become a family, she embarked on a journey she never could have imagined, an accidental jihad: a quest for spiritual and intellectual growth that would open her mind and, more important, her heart.
Apricot Irving grew up as a missionary’s daughter in Haiti. Her father was an agronomist, a man who hiked alone into the hills with a macouti of seeds to preach the gospel of trees. Beautiful, poignant, and explosive, The Gospel of Trees is the story of a family crushed by ideals, and restored to kindness by honesty. Told against the backdrop of Haiti’s long history of intervention—often unwelcome—it grapples with the complicated legacy of those who wish to improve the world. Drawing from family letters, cassette tapes, journals, and interviews, it is an exploration of missionary culpability and idealism, told from within.
This event was made possible by a generous grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council.