Talking with Strangers

He talked to strangers more than he talked to his parents. Little did we know that "talking to strangers" would one day invite his tragedy. Weeks after learning of his abduction, our family and friends were still playing with fantasies of how Danny talks his captors into coming to their senses and ending their silly game. Until this very day, images of Danny talking them into playing a game of backgammon or humming a little tune are much more vivid than anything I will ever view on CNN.… They have silenced Danny's voice, but not his spirit -- the legacy of Danny's lifelong "talking with strangers" will be forever in our heart.

The American-Israeli journalist Daniel Pearl was killed in Pakistan on this day in 2002. The above is excerpted from Judea Pearl's memorial address for his son, now included in At Home in the World, a collection of Pearl's journalism. In order to pursue the "talking to strangers" mission, the Pearl family has established The Daniel Pearl Foundation, several of its initiatives described below by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his To Heal a Fractured World:

The Daniel Pearl Foundation that Judea created is dedicated to reconciliation. Among its projects are bursaries for young Pakistani journalists to come to America to study and learn something of its culture and lessen their sense of alienation. It organizes concerts throughout the world, using music, as Daniel did, to bring people together.

Daybook is contributed by Steve King, who teaches in the English Department of Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. His literary daybook began as a radio series syndicated nationally in Canada. He can be found online at


Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangledeshi mathematician and the haunting crime he's committed barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and ravaged Afghanistan with vinegar-steeped prose recalling the best of George Orwell and Joseph Conrad.

The People's Platform

Why is the Internet - once touted as the democratizer of the future - ruled by a few corporate giants, while countless aspirants work for free? Astra Taylor diagnoses why the web has failed to be a utopian playing field, and offers compelling ways we can diversify the marketplace and give voice to the marginalized.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.