Freebird book drive for NYC Books Through Bars
While NYC Books Through Bars operating out of Freebird's basement is currently limiting in-person volunteering and drop offs due to COVID-19, book requests continue to pour in from prisons around the country: nearly 300 per week. In response to the challenges of accepting those donations during the pandemic, we have started a monthly program in which specific, in-demand titles can be purchased through Freebird at a discount.
is a bundle co-presented by the indie publisher, Seven Stories Press, and focuses on two perennially popular writers--Octavia Butler and Howard Zinn--as well as a genre frequently requested by incarcerated readers but too often unfulfilled: Westerns. This is the second time we have included Butler in the monthly book drive (the first time was with Kindred), but Books Through Bars can never have enough on hand. Bloodchild and Other Stories is an excellent overview of her writing, that shows off her talent for turning parables into timeless commentaries on our modern world. Howard Zinn on History is just that, twenty-seven short writings on activism, electoral politics, the Holocaust, Marxism, war, and the role of the historian, as well as portraits of Eugene Debs, John Reed, and Jack London. And rounding out this bundle is a Western novel, which we have been wanting to add for some time (it is one of the most commonly requested genres at prisons), but have taken great care to pick a title that doesn't fall into traditional insensitive tropes about indigenous cultures. Barry Gifford's Black Sun Rising (La Corazonada) is a noir set on the Texas-Mexican border, where a group of Native Americans and fugitive slaves have fled in 1851. One of Seven Stories's most beloved house authors, Gifford's novel also appeals to us for being a rare bilingual edition, allowing Books Through Bars to send this out to Spanish and English readers.
Octavia Butler/Howard Zinn/Barry Gifford
Freebird's March picks include Octavia Butler's story collection Bloodchild, Howard Zinn on History, and a bilingual Western novel by Barry Gifford, Black Sun Rising / La Corazonada.
Please note that these books will be sent to NYC Books Through Bars to fulfill requests from incarcerated readers at prisons nationwide.
PLEASE NOTE that the books purchased through Freebird are ones that will be delivered directly to Books Through Bars so that they can fulfill requests from incarcerated readers.
Looking for a book for yourself? Check out our page at Bookshop.org, including lists of recommended reads from Piper Kerman, Victoria Law, Albert Woodfox, Victor LaValle, Mat Johnson, and others!
Want to give a gift card? Freebird has e-gift cards available here for your birthday and holiday needs (and to redeem for future book drives)!
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