I Am Not Your Enemy: Stories to Transform a Divided World (Paperback)
Award Winner in the Social Change category of the 2020 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest. Are you my enemy? Am I yours? Violent stories surround us. Brutal beginnings, horror-filled middles, despair-inducing endings. We need better stories: stories forged in the furnace of conflict, narratives that kindle compassion and ignite hope. In the pages of I Am Not Your Enemy, writer Michael T. McRay visits divided regions of the world and interviews activists, peacebuilders, former combatants about their personal stories of conflict, justice, and reconciliation. In Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, and South Africa, he hears from grieving parents who partner together across enemy lines, a woman who meets her father's killer, and a man who uses theater to counter the oppression of his people, and many more. In a time of heightened alienation and fear, McRay offers true, sacred stories of reconciliation and justice, asking what they can teach us about our own divided states. Must violence be met with violence? Is my belonging complete only when I take away yours? Will more guns, more walls, more weapons keep us safe? We need stories that cultivate empathy and tell the truth. We need stories to save us from our fear.
Michael T. McRay is a writer, facilitator, and storyteller, and the author of two previous books: Where the River Bends and Letters from Apartheid Street. He is the Southeast regional manager for the global story nonprofit Narrative 4. He founded and hosts the public storytelling night Tenx9 Nashville, and occasionally lectures at Lipscomb University. McRay has a master's degree in conflict resolution and reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin's Belfast campus. He has spoken in New York City, Seattle, Fort Worth, Malibu, Nashville, Belfast, and more, and he leads narrative retreats and speaks on story, conflict, reconciliation, and forgiveness. McRay lives in Nashville with his wife, Brittany, and their two terriers, Charlie and Lily. Connect with him @michaeltmcray or at MichaelMcRay.com.