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“A rich and urgently necessary book” (New York Times Book Review), A Moonless, Starless Sky is a masterful, humane work of journalism by Alexis Okeowo–a vivid narrative of Africans who are courageously resisting their continent’s wave of fundamentalism.
In A Moonless, Starless Sky Okeowo weaves together four narratives that form a powerful tapestry of modern Africa: a young couple, kidnap victims of Joseph Kony’s LRA; a Mauritanian waging a lonely campaign against modern-day slavery; a women’s basketball team flourishing amid war-torn Somalia; and a vigilante who takes up arms against the extremist group Boko Haram. This debut book by one of America’s most acclaimed young journalists illuminates the inner lives of ordinary people doing the extraordinary–lives that are too often hidden, underreported, or ignored by the rest of the world.
"Finally, finally, finally--a humane, skillful storyteller with sound reporting instincts has dug into the middle of the stories we think we've already heard out of Africa. Alexis Okeowo can write prose as arresting as Ryszard Kapuscinski's, she's got Katherine Boo's big heart, but she has her own fresh way of approaching the work, one that is terribly overdue. Absolutely essential reading, period."Alexandra Fuller,New York Times bestselling author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and QuietUntil the Thaw
"From an abolitionist who once owned a slave to women basketball players in a war zone, Alexis Okeowo has an alert and thoughtful eye for the unexpected. The portraits and voices she brings us from Africa are so vivid that the reader can easily forget the determination and bravery it must have taken to gather them in these unhappy corners of the continent."Adam Hochschild,New York Times bestselling author of King Leopold's Ghost and Spainin Our Hearts
"In A Moonless, Starless Sky, Alexis Okeowo has wandered as a reporter into some of Africa's most difficult and dangerous corners and delivered something remarkable: real characters, women and men, fully rendered."Howard W. French,author of Everything Under the Heavens
"Spectacular reporting. Full of fresh, unexpected detail. If you want to get an immediate sense of the lives, both quotidian and extraordinary, of Africans in some of the continent's most troubled countries, read Alexis Okeowo's book."William Finnegan,Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Barbarian Days
"Remarkable.... Okeowo writes with beauty and grace.... Refreshingly, she does not give in to easy answers.... Clear-eyed, lyrical, observant, and compassionate--reportage at its finest."Kirkus (starred review)
"Alexis Okeowo has gone to the hardest continent and come away with a series of tales about the fight against fanaticism and despair. The result is a deeply sensitive portrait of modern Africa and a microscope on the human condition in the most difficult circumstances."Dexter Filkins,Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Forever War
"Alexis Okeowo's startling and brilliant account of fierce horrors and tender hopes is one of the best records I have ever read of a world that has been made and remade time and again out of struggle and faith. Okeowo is just the kind of reporter we need to hear from when it comes to Africa, the 'new' old world: truthful, accurate, deep."Hilton Als,Pulitzer-Prize winning author of White Girls
"Evocative and affecting.... Okeowo's in-depth, perceptive reporting gives a voice to ... extraordinarily courageous--and resilient--women and men."Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A Moonless, Starless Sky is a captivating look at the on-the-ground effects of extremist groups and the people who live their lives in spite of them."Booklist
"Okeowo's compelling prose is lean but empathetic, reportorial and personal both in an individual and cultural sense; her own status as a biological African born in America who straddles two continents and two sensibilities--at minimum--infuses this work with a real urgency.... Okeowo's message to readers, and the lesson she unsentimentally gleans for herself, is that even under a forbidding sky--one without the radiance of moon or stars-there is always enough light to navigate out of the darkness toward a better world."Ms. Magazine
"Through four distinct stories, she shares the stories of citizens as they resist groups like Lord's Resistance Army and Boko Haram, while also attempting to bravely move forward with their personal lives. The reporting is expert and empathetic, and Okeowo illuminates the people beyond the headlines."W magazine
- On Sale
- Oct 3, 2017
- Hachette Audio