Isaias Ramos, (center) was one of the best and brightest students to graduate from Kingsbury High School in 2013. His girlfriend Magaly Cruz, (rt) was the valedictorian for her graduating class of 2014 at Kingsbury. In spite of their innate talents and abilities, often getting a higher education can be a complicated equation for many of the Hispanic youths in America. (Karen Pulfer Focht/ The Commercial Appeal)
Great news! Finally a book deal for the project reporter Daniel Connolly and I worked on. "THE BOOK OF ISAIAS, is the story of a Memphis high school student, the child of undocumented Mexican immigrants, whose future may never include a college degree despite his obvious abilities and teachers' support, and an exploration of whether the American dream is still alive for millions of children of immigrants today, to Elisabeth Dyssegaard at Palgrave, by Michelle Tessler at the Tessler Literary Agency (World)." Posted on the trade web site Publishers Marketplace. Daniel took off a year to work on this project. Congrat's Daniel!
The Original Newspaper Story-
UPDATE: Feb. 24th, 2016- The book that Daniel Connolly has been working on is getting closer to publication and now can be pre-ordered. The book stems from a project we did together at the newspaper and it will include many of my photos from that project. It is about the child of Hispanic immigrants. Congrat's Daniel~
August 12th, 2016- Update
The Book is officially due out Oct. 4th.
What people are saying???
“Book of Isaias is a Southern Independent Bookseller Association OKRA pick! Wanted to share.”
Every three months, the association puts out a list of their top 12 southern-themed books of the season and encourages their booksellers to promote them. As they put it, “Southern readers love their writers, and we want to be at the forefront of bringing them a strong selection of titles not to be missed each season.” http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/okra
“The Book of Isaias is a compassionate and well-told tale from Tennessee, a corner of the U.S. that is being remade, quietly, by the dreams and the labor of Latino immigrants. Daniel Connolly has placed his reporting muscles at the service of a hard-working Mexican family and their smart son, and borne witness to their noble struggles.”
- Héctor Tobar, author of the New York Times best-selling Deep Down Dark, the definitive account of the 2010 Chilean mine disaster and rescue.
“Never has immigration—specifically Mexican immigration—been a more divisive issue, and never have we been more in need of nuanced portraits of real immigrants as they make their tricky passage through modern American life. Here Daniel Connolly treats us to just such a portrait. Richly reported, empathetic, carefully observed, and devoid of tendentious argument or political spin, The Book of Isaias is a stout rebuke to anyone who wishes to build a wall—real or metaphorical—around this unimaginably complicated and delicately human issue at the center of our national discourse.”
—Hampton Sides, bestselling author of Americana, In the Kingdom of Ice, and Hellhound on His Trail
September 29, 2016
The project about the challenge of educating Hispanic youth that Daniel Connolly and I worked on is about to come out as a book written by Daniel. He will be doing a book signing Tuesday night, Oct. 4th, at Booksellers here in Memphis. Our subject, Isaias, will also be stopping by and I plan to stop by too. Several of my images from the project are featured in the book, as well as the cover photo. Congratulations to Daniel for this accomplishment. This is an important story for our community and our country.
Daniel Connolly had a great turnout at Booksellers in Memphis in October where he signed books and had his subject Isaias Ramos come and answer questions for the audience.
Daniel has also spoken around the Northeast including at Princeton where a photo exhibit from the project is being installed this month.
The book continues to be reviewed and the topic is still fresh with the upcoming election, the timing of the book could not be more perfect.
NEWS-------NOV 7th 2016
The release from Princeton University-Princeton Center for Migration and Development -"Our photo exhibit, The Book of Isaias: A Child Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America,” is now installed in the Sociology lounge and adjoining area (Wallace Hall, first floor). It features 13 remarkable images produced by award-winning photojournalist, Karen Pulfer Focht, for the book by the same title, authored by Journalist Daniel Connolly."