Slave : my true story /
by Mende Nazer and Damien Lewis.
New York : Public Affairs, 2003.
350 p. : 22 cm.
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added author
New York : Public Affairs, 2003.
Nazer was about twelve years old when raiders burned her Nuba village, killed the adults, and took 31 young children, who wer sold in Sudan's capital Khartoum. She tells of her years in slavery, her flight after seen years, and her attainment of asylum in Britain. British journalist Lewis helped her escape and write her story. The memoir has no index or bibliography.
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A Look Inside
About the Author
BIH Author Biography
Mende Nazer is approximately twenty-three years old (the Nuba keep no record of birth dates). In 2003, she was granted political asylum by the British government. She currently lives in London. Mende speaks frequently about her slavery experience in front of student groups, human rights organizations, and government assemblies. Her greatest dream is to see her family again. Damien Lewis is a British journalist who helped Mende escape. He reports widely on human rights abuses in Sudan. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-10-20:
Born into the Karko tribe in the Nuba mountains of northern Sudan, Nazer has written a straightforward, harrowing memoir that's a sobering reminder that slavery still needs to be stamped out. The first, substantial section of the book concentrates on Nazer's idyllic childhood, made all the more poignant for the misery readers know is to come. Nazer is presented as intelligent and headstrong, and her people as peaceful, generous and kind. In 1994, around age 12 (the Nuba do not keep birth records), Nazer was snatched by Arab raiders, raped and shipped to the nation's capital, Khartoum, where she was installed as a maid for a wealthy suburban family. (For readers expecting her fate to include a grimy factory or barren field, the domesticity of her prison comes as a shock.) To Nazer, the modern landscape of Khartoum could not possibly have been more alien; after all, she had never seen even a spoon, a mirror or a sink, much less a telephone or television set. Nazer's urbane tormentors-mostly the pampered housewife-beat her frequently and dehumanized her in dozens of ways. They were affluent, petty and calculatedly cruel, all in the name of "keeping up appearances." The contrast between Nazer's pleasant but "primitive" early life and the horrors she experienced in Khartoum could hardly be more stark; it's an object lesson in the sometimes dehumanizing power of progress and creature comforts. After seven years, Nazer was sent to work in the U.K., where she contacted other Sudanese and eventually escaped to freedom. Her book is a profound meditation on the human ability to survive virtually any circumstances. Agent, Felicity Bryan. (Jan.) Forecast: President Bush's condemnation of the slave trade at the U.N. in September and the recent release of Francis Bok's very similar Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Slavery-and My Journey to Freedom in America (Forecasts, Oct. 6) may spark increased curiosity in this urgent subject. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, October 2003
Booklist, December 2003
Washington Post, March 2004
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Unpaid Annotation
A shocking true story of contemporary slavery: Mende Nazer, snatched from her tribal village in Africa as a young girl, survives slavery in Sudan and London before making a courageous escape to freedom.
Unpaid Annotation
At age twelve, Mende Nazer lost her childhood. It began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, setting fire to the village huts and murdering the adults. They rounded up thirty-one young children, including Mende, who was eventually sold to a wealthy Arab family in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum. So began Mende's seven dark years of enslavement. Normally, Mende's story never would have come to light, but when she was sent to work for another master-a diplomat working in London-she made a dramatic break for freedom.

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