By Lauren Owen
It’s always exciting to meet the person behind the book that changed your life.
Maybe this is an exaggeration, but in the world of global nomad literature, it’s not too far off from the truth. For global nomads and expats, there’s something extra exhilarating about seeing your feelings described in precise detail by someone you’ve never met or to read about someone across the globe whose experience mirrors your own.
That’s what it felt like during the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) book signing event.
The book signing brought together all attendees of the FIGT conference and provided the opportunity to interact with people who have shared their expat voices for the sake of the global community.
Authors Across Ages
One aspect that made this event particularly unique was the breadth of ages, experiences, and topics addressed. Among the authors present were Keynote speaker Doug Ota, whose recently published book Safe Passage addresses the educational support systems necessary for global nomads; Marilyn Gardner whose recently published memoir Between Worlds showcases a beautifully written TCK experience; and 2015 Parfitt/ Pascoe Writing Residency (PPWR) scholar Taylor Murray, whose book Hidden In My Heart, published at age 14, tells the honest story of crossing cultures to Japan.
Behind each author’s writing is a passion to serve expats. When asked about her book, Taylor commented that she, “never intended to be published... [but] wanted people to understand that they are not alone.” For this young writer, a personal journey became a way to help others through what might be a similar experience.
A Book for Every Season
Not only did authors range in ages and purpose, but so did book topics. Brittani Sonnenberg’s book Home Leave represented the novel genre. Linda Janssen had compiled her most recent research into the book The Emotionally Resilient Expat, which was just one of several other research-based books available.
Trisha Carter and Rachel Yates’s book Finding Home Abroad showed their desire to help expats process the transition experience by providing a carefully crafted journal. The text they included prompts writers to journal their thoughts through each stage of the move, as well as describing why they feel a certain way at each stage.
Books were not the only items available for purchase – Anne Copeland presented collections of Reflection Photos. This set of 100 photos is intended to help people process transition by reflecting on their reactions to pictures.
Books sold at the FIGT conference must meet specific criterion in order to be eligible. These criterion include:
1. Written by an FIGT member or conference speaker
2. Published in the year prior to the conference
Even though the book signing at FIGT ended after an hour, the resources present in the bookstore are available online via Amazon or the FIGT online bookstore.
Books highlighted at FIGT included:
- B at Home, Valérie Besanceney, Summertime Publishing, 2014
- Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere, Lois Bushong, Mango Tree Intercultural Services, 2013
- Finding Home Abroad, Trisha Carter and Rachel Yates, Summertime Publishing, 2014
- Between Worlds, Marilyn Gardner, Doorlight Publications, 2014
- Slurping Soup and Other Confusions, Gemmer, Wilshire, Afnan Ahmad et al, Summertime Publishing, 2013
- The Emotionally Resilient Expat, Linda Janssen, Summertime Publishing, 2013
- Hidden in My Heart, Taylor Murray, BottomLine Media, 2013
- Arrivals, Departures and the Adventures In-Between, Christopher O’Shaughnessy, Summertime Publishing, 2014
- Safe Passage: How Mobility Affects People and What International Schools Should Do About It, Doug Ota, Summertime Publishing, 2014
- The Worlds Within, an Anthology of TCK Art and Writing: Young, Global and Between Cultures, edited by Jo Parfitt and Eva László-Herbert, Summertime Publishing 2014
- Insights and Interviews from the 2014 Families in Global Transition Conference: The Global Family Redefined, edited by Jo Parfitt, Sue Mannering, and Dounia Bertuccelli, Summertime Publishing, 2015
- Expat Teens Talk, Dr. Lisa Pittman and Diana Smit, Summertime Publishing, 2012
- The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition, Tina L. Quick, Summertime Publishing, 2010
- Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child, Julia Simens, Summertime Publishing, 2011
- Letters Never Sent, Ruth Van Reken, Summertime Publishing, 2012
For further information on Families in Global Transition www.figt.org
To order books available at the conference visit www.figt.org/page-1291451
For books specific to expats and TCKs visit www.summertimepublishing.com
This article was edited by Dounia Bertuccelli. With thanks to the sponsorship of Summertime Publishing and the Parfitt Pascoe Writing Residency.