About Terry

Broken Ground with drawingTerry Farish is the author of Either the Beginning or the End of the World,  published by Carolrhoda Lab to a starred review from School Library Journal.   The novel won the Maine Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and is a finalist for the Boston Author’s Club Award.

If you want to know how people from Sudan got to the U.S, “read the news accounts,” says reviewer Jennifer Graham in New Hampshire’s Hippo about Farish’s earlier novel, The Good Braider. “If you want to know how it feels to move from a violent, war-torn country to a community that fights over where to put a Walmart, then read The Good Braider by Terry Farish.”  “Nothing short of a gift to young readers,” says the Concord Monitor about the novel. The Good Braider is a School Library Journal Best Book for Young Adults and an American Library Association Best Fiction book for Young Adults, 2013.

Farish has been writing novels and nonfiction about refugees and immigrants for many years, informed by her early work for the Red Cross in Vietnam.  A reviewer writes, “She takes readers past the news accounts and into the hearts and dreams of new Americans.”

Farish also writes picture books.   THE CAT WHO LIKED POTATO SOUP, illustrated by Barry Root, is a winner of a Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books Blue Ribbon. LUIS PAINTS THE WORLD illustrated by Oliver Dominguez and JOSEPH’S BIG RIDE, illustrated by Ken Daley are just out.

Terry Farish presents literacy program with immigrants and refugees through New Hampshire Humanities.

 Dear Reader,

Me in my Red Cross uniform with my puppy Pumpkin in Cu Chi, Vietnam

When I was  young, I took my first job, working for the American Red Cross in Vietnam during the war.

Cynthia Rylant wrote a story, “Uncle Joe,” in her book,  A Blue-Eyed Daisy.  Joe visits a girl named Ellie after he comes home from the war in Vietnam where he served in the army. I liked this story because it said in so few words how hard it was for a soldier to talk about a war that had changed his life forever.

Blue Eyed Daisy was one book I wrote about in an essay  for School Library Journal, “If You Knew Him Please Write Me:  Novels About the War in Vietnam for Children and Young Adults.”  Here’s a link to a word file of the article.  The title is from a note I saw taped to the Vietnam Memorial  in Washington, D.C.

Writing is a way for me to try to make sense of what I care most deeply about.

Short Bio

Terry Farish is a writer with a passion for understanding the stories of people from many cultures who come as immigrants or refugees to the U.S. Her new novel, Either the Beginning or the End of the World, explores the intersections of love and war in a young Cambodian-American girl’s life. The Good Braider, a YALSA Best Book of the year and selected an American Library Association Outstanding Book for the College Bound and Lifelong Learner, is her free verse novel about 17-year old Viola and her family’s journey from war-torn Sudan to Portland, Maine. Terry leads literacy programs with refugee and immigrant parents through New Hampshire Humanities.

Media Profiles

An article in North Andover, Massachusetts Eagle Tribune

An interview with Portsmouth Herald

A television interview with Rebecca Rule New Hampshire Public Television Author Series

Interview with New Hampshire Center for the Book

My journal about my trip to Kakuma refugee camp.

Kenya girl B&W300

My article about one of my favorite projects with international students: A Folktale Journeys with its Tellers.

Eagle Tribune Photo by Tim Jean