Blog

17 hours ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Love to see you at City College, World Cultures Program, this coming Tuesday. ...

View on Facebook

2 days ago

Theypouredfirebooks

That's for sure. And my invaluable writing groups keep reminding me of that! ...

View on Facebook

2 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn?" "That's against the law!" "Oh. Of course." -Ray Bradbury ...

View on Facebook

3 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Newsweek Magazine

I Have Had to Learn To Live With Peace
How do you make a new life for yourself when you're consumed with the pain of your past?

By Alephonsion Deng
Newsweek

In 1989, when government troops attacked my village in southern Sudan, my peaceful world fell apart. As a boy of 7 I ran barefoot and naked into the night and joined up with streams of other boys trying to escape death or slavery. We crossed a thousand miles of war-ravaged country without hope of sanctuary. Bullets replaced food, medicine, shelter and my loving parents. I lived on wild vegetables, ate mud from Mother Earth and drank urine from my own body.
We walked for five years, occasionally finding shelter at a refugee camp, only to have to leave again when it was attacked by Sudanese soldiers. Finally we made it to a camp in Kenya, where I lived for nearly a decade on a half cup of cornmeal a day and went to school. After several interviews with workers from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I was chosen, along with a few thousand other "lost boys," to go to the United States.
When I arrived here four years ago, I found that the skills I'd learned in order to survive in Sudan were useless. I knew how to catch a rabbit, challenge a hyena or climb a coconut palm, but I had never turned on a light, used a telephone or driven a car.
Luckily, the International Rescue Committee provided us with classes and mentors to teach us basics about computers, job interviews and Western social customs. Within a month I understood how to work most modern conveniences and started my first job as a courtesy clerk and stocker at a Ralph's grocery store in San Diego. Things like mangoes, chard and yams were familiar, but when customers asked about Cheerios, mayonnaise or Ajax, it was as though my years of learning English in the refugee camp were worthless.
Eventually I became acquainted with most things in a modern grocery store, but I still faced a much greater challenge. I'd lived with war, but I still needed to learn to live with peace. At work people joked around and although they made attempts to be friendly, I couldn't understand or connect with much of what they said. It often felt as if their jokes were about me. When one woman said, "Al, you are hot!" I didn't know what it meant and assumed it wasn't good. I began to dread going to work, school or anywhere. Always the outsider who was ready to fight, I existed in a cloud of anger and depression.
It would take two more years for me to understand that these difficulties had little to do with language and cultural differences, and more with being caught up in conflict as a young boy. I could not forget the sound of guns or the cries of women and children dropping next to me like leaves shaken off a tree in a storm. For so many years, the smell and taste of death had spread within me like poison.
I felt like I was dead when people around me laughed, and their smiles only made me feel more isolated and unhappy. I carried a weight as heavy as the earth. Anger boiled inside me and made me wonder if I was losing my mind. Sanity could not exist as long as I held onto the desire for vengeance against those who had taken my childhood. Trapped by my mental confusion, I blamed myself for what I was feeling, and lashed out at everyone around me.
Now I realize that the gigantic void created within me when I was young wasn't my fault. There was nothing I could have done. The emotions I held onto for so long only kept me from interacting with my new countrymen. I could not reach out in a friendly way or through humor because I lived in a fog of rage.
I'm finally making friends and adapting to my new country. When my friend Adam took me to a football game, the sound and smell of the halftime fireworks brought back bad memories and made me dizzy, but he understood and I managed to stay for the whole game. I drive a car, work as a medical-records clerk at Kaiser Hospital, attend college and even have a cell phone—a convenience I deeply appreciate. There was no way to call 911 years ago on that terrible walk.
I can't identify an exact turning point in my emotions, and I'm still struggling. However, I've found that speaking about my experiences at schools and community organizations and writing my memoir have helped. Sharing my feelings has lessened the burning inside me.
I do worry that when the American soldiers return from Iraq, even without cultural differences to deal with, they, too, will find that happiness in others can feel insensitive. At a time when they need it most, they may find it difficult to reconnect emotionally with their families and friends. Writer Jose Narosky said, "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." I would add that there are no women, children or animals who escape unscathed.
Still, I know it is possible to move on. For all those years I lived with revenge on my mind. Now I'm a man with the seeds of love, dignity and hope in his heart.
Deng lives in La Mesa, Calif.
© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.© 2005 MSNBC.com
...

View on Facebook

4 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

If you live in San Diego, Adventures By The Book is a great way to meet authors and enjoy adventures. Rumors are they'll be coming to more cities soon! www.AdventuresByTheBook.com ...

View on Facebook

4 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Speaking for Human Rights Watch at Palisades High School. Over ten years and still going strong! ...

View on Facebook

4 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Ten years! I can't believe it. This was one of the adventure/jobs that writing led to. Bringing box lunches to the Stand-Ins at the top of a tea plantation outside Darjeeling. Didn't take the Express to get there. A long and winding road full of amazing sights. Thank you Judy Bouley for making it happen and Daniel Zadow on MY right. ...

View on Facebook

6 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Thrilled to make it into the San Diego Airport Bookstore!
Thank you, Warwicks!
...

View on Facebook

6 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

We are honored to have received the Nautilus Gold Award! ...

View on Facebook

6 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks
View on Facebook

6 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Alpeho Deng, author of the book - They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky and the play - Across Worlds: A Tale of Two Lives of Adventure talks about his life and... ...

View on Facebook

6 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

POP UP Free Book Contest:
To first person to name the flower and place of origin.
...

View on Facebook

7 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

First person who knows where this bookstore is wins a free copy of Disturbed In Their Nests. ...

View on Facebook

7 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

They can take you so many places! ...

View on Facebook

7 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Ran across this quote: "Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife." John Dewey.

Without teachers there is no education. So here is a huge thank you to all of the teachers out there who make our world a more just place.

Photo: Alephonsion Deng speaking to the students in Pismo Beach, sponsored by the Student Task Force of Human Rights Watch. Sidney Sheinberg made amazing moves and founded the Student Task Force. His death this week is a loss for the world.
...

View on Facebook

7 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

So honored when someone reads our book! ...

View on Facebook

7 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Grab a book and enjoy!Para los fanáticos de la lectura 🥰📖📚 ...

View on Facebook

8 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Our first apartment in America ...

View on Facebook

8 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Article from 2003, Los Angeles Times, about Alephonsion Deng

articles.latimes.com/2003/jan/05/magazine/tm-lostboys1
...

View on Facebook

8 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Only 99 cents on Kindle for the month of February!
smile.amazon.com/Disturbed-Their-Nests-Journey-Dinkaland-ebook/dp/B07BY9L6N6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0...
...

View on Facebook

8 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Don't miss the promotion. 99 cents for Kindle version! ...

View on Facebook

8 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

They say those Australian dogs are smart, but wow... ...

View on Facebook

9 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

youtu.be/fpAFOkxTbwENineteen-year-old refugee Alephonsion Deng, from war-ravaged Sudan, had great expectations when he arrived in America three weeks before two airlines crashed... ...

View on Facebook

9 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Alephonsion Deng is an author, speaker and activist. He talks about how he came to be known as one of "The Lost Boys." sandiegouniontribune.com/immigrants ...

View on Facebook

9 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

www.theypouredfirebooks.com ...

View on Facebook

9 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks
View on Facebook

11 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Are you an aspiring sci-fi writer looking for an unexplored premise? Ponder this one:

Soonish by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.

Let's talk about mirror humans:

"Oh, you haven't heard of mirror humans? Let's back up a moment.

"Life is made of lots of little molecules, and these molecules make up import­ant bigger molecules, like DNA, RNA, and proteins. Some molecules exhibit what is called chirality, from the Greek word for 'hand.' If a molecule has chirality that basically means there is a mirror version of it.

"To wrap your head around 'mirror versions' of things, think about your hands. They look exactly the same, but no matter how you rotate your left hand, it won't be exactly the same as the right. If you have your palms up, your left thumb will point left and your right thumb will point right. Each hand has all the same parts, but they are flipped, as if through a mirror.

"When you have two molecules that are mirror images of one another, one of these molecules is designated as the left-handed version and the other as the right-handed version. Intriguingly, life seems to favor a certain handedness for particular tasks. For example, almost all amino acids (which you may remember from previous chapters are the building blocks of proteins) are in the left-handed form. Why nature abhors right-handed amino acids is a topic of debate, but even the amino acids we find in space tend to be left-handed.




Two enantiomers of a generic amino acid that are chiral
"But screw nature. Whatever her reasoning is, there is no known physical reason we couldn't create an organism out of completely opposite-handed molecules in the lab -- a 'mirror organism,' if you like. Some scientists, including Dr. [George] Church­ [of Harvard], are working to create (simple) mirror organisms, with the hope creating larger and larger such creatures. Why exactly would we want this? Well, for one, it's awesome. You create something that looks like a nice little kitty, but is totally incompatible with the rest of the life on the planet, perhaps even the universe. For example, mirror-opposite organisms would need to eat mirror food in order to be able to digest it. They would also be undigest­ible to all predators. Best of all, a mirror-opposite organism would be com­pletely immune to all diseases, because all living parasites and pathogens evolved to infect organisms with normal chirality.

"And if it worked, hey, we could scale up to making mirror-opposite humans.

"Mirror humans would be immune to all the diseases that have plagued human­ity for centuries. Malaria? No problem. Tuberculosis? Meh.

"Okay, so there'd be downsides too. They'd need mirror food, perhaps mirror microbes. And, if a mirror disease evolved, they'd need mirror medicine. They'd also need mirror partners if they wanted children.

"Ah yes, what of love between mirror-original and mirror-opposite humans?

"Couples comprised of different mirror-type people would, you know, fit to­gether. But they would not produce any living offspring, because you can't mix left-handed and right-handed people when it comes to genetic material. Look, we're not chirality bigots. We think heterochiral couples might get along just fine, but we just worry about the children. Mostly because they wouldn't get to exist.

"Although mirror-opposite people would look pretty much the same to our eyes, they would be members of a separate species. Being genetically isolated populations, we would slowly go from being similar but incompatible to having different physical and psychological characteristics over time. Given that we mirror originals would be comparatively disease riddled, it probably wouldn't be long before the mirror-opposites looked at us like we were a shambling horde of zombies."

Sign Up Here

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything
Edited by: Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
Publisher: Penguin Press
Copyright 2017 by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
Pages: 332-333
...

View on Facebook

11 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

A note from our authors Alephonsion Deng and Judy A. Bernstein on the publication day of their memoir, DISTURBED IN THEIR NESTS: A JOURNEY FROM SUDAN'S DINKALAND TO SAN DIEGO'S CITY HEIGHTS:

Dear Readers,

On this day of publication, we are honored and thrilled to share our joint memoir, Disturbed In Their Nests, with you. The book actually began eighteen years ago when Alepho began to write down his experiences in America. These past few years, writing our story together, sharing our unique points-of-view of the same situations and incidences, revealing our perspectives to each other, has been enlightening, comical and tragic in turns. And a whole new journey in itself.

Sharing this story with readers means a great deal to us. We hope that it provides insight into what refugees face when torn from their own culture and thrust into an entirely foreign one. At the same time, we hope it sheds light on things within our own world that we sometimes take for granted or assume are the only correct way.

Thank you, Blackstone and Cynthia Cannell Literary Agency, for taking us on a new adventure by making this book a reality.

Alephonsion Deng and Judy A. Bernstein

For more details on DISTURBED IN THEIR NESTS, visit: bit.ly/2O7BXB0.
#blackstonepublishing #pubday #dearreaders #memoir
...

View on Facebook

11 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

We Were Children (26,000 Lost Boys)
PLEASE LIKES THIS VIDEO!!! The main purpose of posting this VIDEO is to promote awareness about what happened to "Lost Boys" and how to provent it from happening again elsewhere in the world. WE SAY NEVER AGAIN!! (Facebook: dengdinka)

By the year (1987-1992), 26,000 Lost Boys of South Sudan walked away from war. They walked for days, then weeks, then months and finally for over a year. They walked anywhere from 900 to 1,000 miles, first to Ethiopia, then back to South Sudan, then south to Kenya, looking for safety. Ten and eleven year olds were the elders. Seven and eight year olds became each others' parents, binding one another's wounds, sharing sips of muddy water, burying their dead. When the littlest ones became too weak or tired to continue, the older boys picked them up and carried them. Some boys, too exhausted to go on, simply sat down and died of starvation or dehydration. Others lagged behind, becoming easy prey for lions, beaten by snacks or simply affacted by certain diseases and than died.
...

View on Facebook

11 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Please share!A note from our authors Alephonsion Deng and Judy A. Bernstein on the publication day of their memoir, DISTURBED IN THEIR NESTS: A JOURNEY FROM SUDAN'S DINKALAND TO SAN DIEGO'S CITY HEIGHTS:

Dear Readers,

On this day of publication, we are honored and thrilled to share our joint memoir, Disturbed In Their Nests, with you. The book actually began eighteen years ago when Alepho began to write down his experiences in America. These past few years, writing our story together, sharing our unique points-of-view of the same situations and incidences, revealing our perspectives to each other, has been enlightening, comical and tragic in turns. And a whole new journey in itself.

Sharing this story with readers means a great deal to us. We hope that it provides insight into what refugees face when torn from their own culture and thrust into an entirely foreign one. At the same time, we hope it sheds light on things within our own world that we sometimes take for granted or assume are the only correct way.

Thank you, Blackstone and Cynthia Cannell Literary Agency, for taking us on a new adventure by making this book a reality.

Alephonsion Deng and Judy A. Bernstein

For more details on DISTURBED IN THEIR NESTS, visit: bit.ly/2O7BXB0.
#blackstonepublishing #pubday #dearreaders #memoir
...

View on Facebook

12 months ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Knowledge is Power

Life Stories
Broken, beaten and brutalized, Frederick Douglass is undying proof that knowledge is in fact power. This is the remarkable true story of how a former slave used the power of words to free himself and thousands of others.
...

View on Facebook

1 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Alephonsion and Union-Tribune Journalist, Denise Davidson. She interviewed him yesterday about new book Disturbed In Their Nests. Watch for article September 20th. ...

View on Facebook

1 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Herero version of Quinceanera or Batmitzvah

Refinery29
In Namibia, where the average temperature in the summer is 80 degrees, Herero women deck themselves out with long sleeves and petticoats. Their gorgeous dresses, elaborate headpieces, and vibrant patterns showcase their pride in their identity, all the while alluding to the suffering they've endured within the past 100 years — including a genocide that nearly wiped them out.
...

View on Facebook

1 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

"Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way."
Cory Doctorow
...

View on Facebook

1 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

The ARCs (Advanced Reader Copy) arrived. Signing party on Santo Road. ...

View on Facebook

1 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Great Big Story
Omaha, Nebraska boasts the largest South Sudanese refugee population outside Africa. It’s also home to some of the best high school basketball players in the nation. For students like Aguek Arop, Omaha Talons, Inc. is turning talent into more than just hoop dreams.
...

View on Facebook

1 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Young people like this inspire us.youtube.com ...

View on Facebook

1 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Just had the honor of speaking with the students at Southwestern College. Thank you, Professor Pumpelly. ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Youth are the hope...

Peace News Network
Playing for Peace: South Sudan
Despite a horrific civil war dividing the people of South Sudan nearly 400 athletes just participated in a week-long peacebuilding event...
...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Photos ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Tok Ku Rou by Alephonsion Deng

As dusty, poor and abandoned as we may have looked playing this game, we could still transport ourselves into an imaginary world. Games like “Tok Ku Rou” meaning “One, Two, Three” in Dinka, took us away from our situation and our memories as we challenged ourselves with its purpose. We’d journeyed a road less traveled and the things our eyes had seen are still hard to express. We choke trying to explain those perilous times in proper language. Women and children are the fruits of nations, yet during war nations turn away from these precious vulnerable ones. We meant nothing to the world, but we were powerful little individuals who could bring a difference if noticed and given the opportunity. Thank God for the United States of America. Where would some of us be today without having been given that chance at life?
...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

ABC The Drum
"The ability to speak English perfectly, is not what makes a good citizen." Nyadol Nyuon shuts down the Government’s push for tougher language requirements for migrants #TheDrum
...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

When we visit schools, we often encounter amazing passion and creativity from the students who have done projects around our book. This one below illustrated so poignantly the differences that exist from one child's life to another. The American boy asks, "Will my iPhone 7 come in the mail today?" The boy in Sudan, and too many other places in the world, asks, "Will I eat today?"

www.facebook.com/TheyPouredFireBooks/photos/rpp.1720024854931987/1792689930998812/?type=3
...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Ger Duany, starred in The Good Lie movie and the Huckabees.This picture is an indication that men of the Nile are still out there spiritually. Kuothpiny kene nhial KuothNyang, Kuothpeeni!!! ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

The magnificent Dinka cattle ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

More Dinka cattle. Thank you Fisher and Beckwith for the amazing photos ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Fabulous ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

From Kathleen Minck, Human Rights Watch in Santa Barbara
Mr. Deng began by recounting heartwarming stories of his childhood. His audience was 7th grad, 12 years old. They were mesmerized...Then as his story switched tone...war erupted...life became pure fear and survival...You could hear a pin drop. He ended with a message of hope and inspiration that impacted the children and adults alike. His message is one that we should all hear.
...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Benjamin and Judy Bouley at cast party for The Way Back.Benjamin and Judy Bouley, casting director for Master and Commander ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

There are things I miss about Kakuma Refugee Camp. When we were not in school we would go behind the American Red Cross or other clinics and dig through their trash piles looking for rubber gloves. If they had blood on them we washed them off. Sometimes we were lucky and found another kind of rubber glove still in it's little square package that had just one big finger, not five. We inflated these to make a soccer ball. Then we wrapped it in plastic, dirt, and old clothes until it was bouncy. Then we tested it out to see if a boy could strike well with it. After that we teamed up and played until we were all exhausted and one by one the boys would trickle away for water or something to eat. Or a boy would accidentally kick the ball into the nearest acacia bush and it would be deflated by a thorn. Alephonsion Deng ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Thank you Suffield Academy! ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Thank you Barnes and Noble! ...

View on Facebook

2 years ago

Theypouredfirebooks

Benson did this amazing mixed media art work of beautiful Dinka cattle his first week in American with his new felt pens and colored pencils. It also graces the cover of the Japanese translation of They Poured Fire. ...

View on Facebook