BOOK FOR OUR TIMES: As a refugee who is making a successful life in America, Abdi is a shining example of what America means to so many people around the world and a reminder of why we need to be cognizant of our role in the international community.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Abdi has been invited to the UN multiple times to speak about refugee and immigration issues. He currently works as an interpreter helping Somali immigrants make the transition to a very different life in Maine. Abdi is also an experienced radio journalist and is hugely charismatic. His story is full of horrifyingly brutal experiences during the war and under the Islamists, but his spirit is unbreakable and he is truly an inspirational figure.
RADIO AND INTERNET EXPOSURE: Abdi’s story of getting his visa was featured on This American Life and got a tremendous response. Ira Glass and his crew are huge fans of Abdi and have rebroadcasted the episode. Abdi also has connections with print and online journalists, and wrote a series of dispatches for NPR.
AUDIENCE: This is a perfect book for fiction and non-fiction lovers alike. Great for fans of A Long Way Gone, Outcasts United, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and Enrique’s Journey—or novels like What Is the What, Exit West, The Refugees, and Little Bee.
“Told simply and well, Iftin’s story explains the incredible bravery and hope necessary to live in the crosshairs of war and to find a way out.”—The New York Journal of Books
“Absolutely remarkable…as compelling as a novel…. An essential immigrant story, one that is enlightening and immediate.”—Booklist (starred review)
“[A] wrenching yet hopeful autobiography…. Iftin’s extraordinary saga is not just a journey of self-advancement but a quest to break free from ethnic and sectarian hatreds.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A searing memoir…that impressively remains upbeat, highly inspiring, and always educational.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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