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Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. He came to the United States when he was seventeen and studied political science at Oberlin College, graduating in 2004. His first book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, was a number-one New York Times bestseller and has been published in more than forty languages. Time magazine named it one of their Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2007. Beah is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War; a member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Advisory Committee; an advisory board member of the Center for the Study of Youth & Political Violence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; a former visiting scholar at the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University; a senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University; cofounder of the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW); and president of the Ishmael Beah Foundation. He has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many panels on the effects of war on children. He lives with his wife in New York City.You can follow him on Twitter at @IshmaelBeah.
"Beah has a resilient spirit and a lyrical style all his own. Even as a multitude of wearying failures mounts, his characters retain their hopefulness in a way that's challenging and inspiring." --Ron Charles, The Washington Post "Written with the moral urgency of a parable and the searing precision of a firsthand account . . . There is an allegorical richness to Beah's storytelling and a remarkable humanity to his characters. We see tragedy arriving not through the big wallops of war, but rather in corrosive increments." --Sara Corbett, The New York Times Book Review "A formidable and memorable novel--a story of resilience and survival, and, ultimately, rebirth." --Edwidge Danticat, Publishers Weekly "UNICEF Ambassador Beah writes lyrically and passionately about ugly realities as well as about the beauty and dignity of traditional ways." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "In 2007, Beah woke us from our slumbers with A Long Way Gone . . . Here, in his first novel . . . our heroes (like Beah himself) stay radiant to the end." --Library Journal "Everyone in the world should read this book. Not just because it contains an amazing story, or because it's our moral, bleeding-heart duty, or because it's clearly written. We should read it to learn about the world and about what it means to be human." --The Washington Post on A Long Way Gone "A breathtaking and unselfpitying account of how a gentle spirit survives a childhood from which all innocence has suddenly been sucked out. It's a truly riveting memoir." --Time on A Long Way Gone