An essay by Sweet Briar College assistant professor of creative writing Dave Griffith is included in the award-winning book “That Mad Game. Growing Up in a War Zone: An Anthology of Essays from Around the Globe.” The collection, which was published by Cinco Puntos Press in September 2012, recently received a nonfiction award from Notable Books for a Global Society.
Exploring both the universal and particular experiences of children and teenagers who came of age during a time of war, “That Mad Game” features 17 essays by authors from around the world, including up-and-coming Middle Eastern writers Qais Akbar Omar and Aria Minu-Sepehr. Omar’s memoir about growing up in Kabul, “A Fort of Nine Towers” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), was released in April. “We Heard the Heavens Then” (Simon and Schuster), Minu-Sepehr’s memoir about growing up in Iran during the Revolution, was released in 2012.
Other writers include Elisabeth Breslav, who survived Holland’s Hunger Winter during World War II; Marnie Mueller, born to white parents in one of California’s Japanese internment camps; and Fito Avitia, who writes from the frontlines of the cartel war in Juárez, Mexico. Griffith’s essay “Symphony No. 1: In Memoriam Dresden, 1945” appears last in the collection.
In February, Griffith had the chance to meet fellow contributors at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in Boston, where he participated in a reading and discussion of the essays.
“That Mad Game” was compiled by J.L. Powers, editor of “Labor Pains and Birth Stories” and author of two young adult novels, most recently “This Thing Called the Future,” an alternative fantasy set in post-apartheid South Africa. Powers began collecting essays on children and war while pregnant with her first child.
“The experience was both painful and uplifting, not unlike giving birth,” Powers said according to Amazon. “The most memorable aspect of these essays is their stark portrayal of both survival and hope in the midst of incredible suffering.”
See the full list of Notable Books awardees here.