Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Teenage Soldier's Remarkable Story

Speaking of books (see previous entry on Eat, Pray, Love), we caught writer Ishmael Beah on The Daily Show this week.

Who's Ishmael Beah? He's a former child soldier from Sierra Leone who, miraculously, survived his ordeal and ended up in the U.S. Now 26 and living in Brooklyn, Beah has published a harrowing account of his years at war called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of Boy Soldier.

Speaking to The Daily Show's John Stewart, Beah offered a gripping portrait of the civil war in his home country, where his mother, father, and two brothers were murdered. An American woman working for Unicef arranged for Beah to come to the U.S. at 17. Later, as a student at Oberlin College, he took a fiction-writing class, where he began his memoir.

We haven't read the book, but we were moved and horrified by an excerpt that ran as the cover story last month in the New York Times Magazine. Beah's story isn't fun reading, but it is an important testament to the brutal realities of the world beyond our shores.

Beah's book, published this month by Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, is A Long Way Gone.


Anonymous said...

Actually, the book is titled "A Long Way Gone" and it is published by Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Alternative Tulsa said...

Thanks for the correction on our typo. It has been changed.