In the Library : Journey to Virginland by Armen Melikian

Journey to Virginland by … Armen Melikian

At turns heartbreaking and diabolically funny, Journey to Virginland is a tour de force, delivered by a master storyteller.

The protagonist, a loutish and uber-cerebral antihero known simply as Dog, takes on the challenge to navigate the perilous paradigm shifts of our age, determined to find his proper place under the sun. Is he doomed to failure? Or will he pull it off by heeding his own irreducible voice, given the ebb of the old certainties?

Dog pursues the answer unrelentingly, through an impassioned quest for identity and meaning. He revisits his relationships with women, family, literature, and homeland, in the process illuminating his journey with commentaries on history, religion, politics, and culture that unravel our very fabric.

Marked by biting satire and tappings into lushest scholarship, Dog’s naked critique touches on some of the most pressing issues facing humanity: the arrogance of empire and organized religion; the persistence of bigotry, xenophobia, and social Darwinism; the double standards of sexual politics; the bankrupt rationale behind patriotism and state propaganda; and hypercapitalism and consumerism, among others.

An ocean of struggles and epiphanies takes Dog to a spiritual ground zero called Virginland, where the story unfolds. It is also in Virginland that Dog unearths an ancient calendar based on a cosmic worldview.

What emerges from the protagonist’s odyssey is not only a cogent depiction of what makes us tick, but, as day follows night, a dazzling new vista for social and spiritual transformation.

With its vibrant style, thematic breadth, and, ultimately, unfettered sense of humanity, Journey to Virginland establishes itself as a groundbreaking literary enterprise and a true original.

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Thank you from Zimbabwe – and around the world

Mercy Corps

Thanksgiving has always been a day of gratitude — a time to remind ourselves what we are thankful for, and to remember those less fortunate.

This year, I’d like to pass along a letter of thanks from a young girl in Zimbabwe named Eunice. Her school was one of 50 that received hundreds of donated textbooks from Mercy Corps — 21,000 books in all.

Helping children learn is one of many important things we do to make life better for families in need. And it’s only possible because of you.

This Thanksgiving, I’m as grateful as ever for the support and generosity of all of you. Working together, we can change lives.
Click here to see the full letter ▸

Eunice's letter from Harare, Zimbabwe

On behalf of Eunice in Zimbabwe, and all of the people whose lives you touch, my deepest appreciation. Thank you.

Click here to see the rest of Eunice’s letter ▸


Dan O'Neill, Mercy Corps Founder

Black Friday …



PLEDGE TO BOYCOTT WAL-MART!Wal-mart workers routinely face unsafe working conditions, poverty-level low wages and intimidation and retaliation when attempting to speak-up or organize. This is why this Black Friday Wal-mart workers and their supporters are taking part in over 1,000 protests nationwide. These will include strikes, boycotts and direct actions to fight back against unfair and abusive labor practices. We need you to join in!

Watch video and pledge to boycott Wal-Mart on Black Friday!

Wal-mart workers are taking enormous risks in staging these actions and need your full support.

Share this video and pledge with your family, friends and network.

Together we can make an impact.

Axel Caballero and the Cuéntame team.

PS – Please help support our work. Cuéntame depends on your support to continue investigating issues and producing content. We are a non-profit and we take no money from the government, lobbyists, or corporations. You can contribute any amount here so we can continue to uncover stories that are important to you. Every dollar helps. Thanks!

Lonnie G. Bunch at The NMAAHC

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture -- Happy Thanksgiving

I’m writing to wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I’d like to thank you for your support on behalf of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

This has been a big year for us — in February, we celebrated our groundbreaking. Construction is underway, and we are on target to open our doors in 2015.

With your loyalty and support, millions of people will experience the American story through a different lens, that of African American history and culture.

Thank you again for helping us build this important new addition to the Smithsonian family of museums. We can’t wait to see you in the Museum when we open!

From all of us here, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Edison Wato signature
Edison R. Wato, Jr.
Membership Program Manager