Sierra Leone Entertainment News

A LONG WAY GONE: MEMOIRS OF A BOY SOLDIER By Ishmael Beah (his photo above by Rebecca Castillo)

Press Release
Source: Starbucks
Riveting True Story of Hope and Redemption A Long Way Gone is Next Starbucks Featured BookThursday January 11, 8:01 am ET
Compelling, Eye-Opening Memoir is a Rare, First-Person Account of a Child Soldier in War-Torn Africa


( Book Synopsis)
New York City, 1998

My high school friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life.“Why did you leave Sierra Leone?”“Because there is a war.”“Did you witness some of the fighting?”“Everyone in the country did.”“You mean you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?”“Yes, all the time.”“Cool.”I smile a little.“You should tell us about it sometime.”“Yes, sometime.”

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.What does war look like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.

In A LONG WAY GONE, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.

This is a wrenching, beautiful, and mesmerizing tale. Beah’s amazing saga provides a haunting lesson about how gentle folks can be capable of great brutalities as well as goodness and courage. It will leave you breathless.”—Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

See video interview of Ishmael Beah here as he talks about inspiration for the book, writing process and his life. http://www.bookwrapcentral.com/authors/ishmaelbeah.htm

Also see the New York Times Magazine Jan 14 2007 edition for a longer excerpt of Beah’s book. From a literary perspective I think it would be really interesting to compare Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala’s “Beasts of no nation” a fictional representation of the child soldier experience to Ishmeal Beah’s autobiographical ” A long way gone”. I am really looking forward to this book and encourage eveyone to get a copy 🙂

Supporting Salone and Sierra Leoneans all the way!!!!!