NEWBURYPORT – Cynthia Anderson, a journalist and award-winning author, will appear Friday on WJOP’s “Morning Show.”

In a prerecorded interview, host Mary Jacobsen speaks with Anderson about her new nonfiction book, “Home Now: How 6,000 Refugees Transformed an American Town.”

Anderson grew up near Lewiston, Maine — a once-thriving mill community on the Androscoggin River. When the mills closed, Lewiston struggled with unemployment and a loss of population, especially young people.

The unusual and dramatic twist in Lewiston’s history, as narrated by Anderson in her book, is how Lewiston reinvented itself over the last two decades as 6,000 Somali refugees and asylum seekers restored youth and energy to the city. They also transformed Lewiston into one of the most Muslim communities in the U.S.

Anderson discusses the various responses of Lewiston’s residents to the influx of refugees. Some were supportive from the beginning. Others were reluctant or fearful but became accepting as they came to know the newcomers. Others were and remain wary.

The varied and moving stories of Lewiston’s newest residents are also described by Anderson. She discusses the adverse situations many were fleeing in Africa; their adaptation to cultural and environmental differences; their dedication to gaining an education and employment; and their pursuit of our shared and unifying American Dream.

Anderson will participate in the virtual Literary Festival, which will stream online April 25 and May 3. For more about the festival, visit:

The “Morning Show” airs Fridays from 8 to 9 a.m. on WJOP (FM 96.3). Each Friday’s “Morning Show” will be broadcast again on WJOP the following Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Podcasts of each show are available after broadcast on the Sound Cloud at by clicking on the cloud icon, then scrolling down to the desired date and guest.

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