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Joy Keys chats with Author Naomi Benaron, Running The Rift

  • Broadcast in Current Events
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Running the Rift follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, a gifted Rwandan boy, from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life, a ten-year span in which his country is undone by the Hutu-Tutsi tensions. When the killing begins, Jean Patrick is forced to flee, leaving behind the woman, the family, and the country he loves. Finding them again is the race of his life. Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction.

Naomi Benaron is a fiction writer and a poet. Her short story collection, Love Letters from a Fat Man, won the 2006 Sharat Chandra Prize for Fiction. She has an MFA in fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles. She teaches through the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and is a mentor Afghan women through AWWP, the Afghan Women's Writing Project—an online group where Afghan women can express themselves in safety and in freedom. Benaron is a marathon runner and an Ironman triathlete. In her first career she worked as a seismologist and geophysicist for companies including Mobil Oil and a consulting company for JPL. Benaron has degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.