Just down the road from their families, Deo and his friends play soccer in the dusty fields of Zimbabwe, cheered on by Deo's older brother, Innocent. It is a day like any other... until the soldiers arrive and Deo and Innocent are forced to run for their lives, fleeing the wreckage of their village for a distant promise of safe haven. Along the way they face the prejudice and poverty that await refugees everywhere, relying on the kindness of those they meet to make it through. But when tragedy strikes, Deo's love of soccer is all he has left to help him find hope once more.
Relevant, timely, and accessibly written, Now Is the Time For Running is a staggering story of survival that follows Deo and his mentally handicapped older brother on a transformative, emotional journey that will stick with you long after the last page.
Praise for Now Is the Time For Running: "There is plenty of material to captivate readers: fast-paced soccer matches every bit as tough as the players; the determination of Deo and his fellow refugees to survive unthinkably harsh conditions; and raw depictions of violence... But it's the tender relationship between Deo and Innocent, along with some heartbreaking twists of fate, that will endure in readers' minds."
—PW (starred review)
"A harrowing tale of modern Zimbabwe... gripping, suspenseful and deeply compassionate. Williams, a renowned dramatist, gives readers compelling characters and, in simple language, delivers a complicated story rooted - sadly and upliftingly - in very real events"
—Kirkus (starred review)
Michael Williams is a writer of plays, musicals, operas, and novels, and is the Managing Director of Cape Town Opera in South Africa. He is the author of several books, including the highly praised young adult novels Crocodile Burning and Now Is the Time for Running. He has written operas for young people based on African mythology as well as the libretti for symphonic operas that have premiered around the world. He finds writing fiction to be the perfect antidote to the drama of keeping an opera company alive in Africa.