Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
In her powerful new memoir, the #1 bestselling author of Infidel tells the stirring story of her search for a new life as she tries to reconcile her Islamic past with her passionate adherence to democracy and Western values. A unique blend of personal narrative and reportage, moving, engaging, wryly funny at times, Nomad gives us an inside view of her battle for equality in the face of considerable odds.

Ayaan captured the world's attention with Infidel, the eye-opening memoir of her childhood in Africa and Saudi Arabia, and her escape to Holland en route to a forced marriage in Canada. Nomad is the story of what happened after the Dutch director with whom she made a documentary about the domestic abuse of Muslim women was murdered by a radical Islamist and death threats forced her into hiding; of her bid to start a new life in America; of her renewed contact with her family on her father's death; and of her attempts to live by her adopted principles. With deep understanding, and through vivid anecdotes, and observations of people, cultures, and the political debacles that are engulfing the world, she takes us with her on an illuminating, unforgettable journey.

Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307398505
Branch Call Number: 305.42092 HIR
Characteristics: xxi, 277 p. ; 24 cm


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Recommended to me by a patron during a discussion about great books and he suggested this one. What a great book! Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a compelling story and she tells it very well, about her childhood in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, her escape to Holland, and her journey to America. This book is the follow-up to her previous books The Caged Virgin and Infidel – very personal and persuasive. I really enjoyed this book and I hope I get the chance to thank that patron for the suggestion. (submitted by JF)

Nov 18, 2017

This is a controversial book due to the authors rejection of Islam her native religion. She leaves little ground for compromise or nuance, most everything Muslim is bad. It is not uninformed as she grew up in the culture and suffered from some of the legitimate excesses of conservative Islam ( had to escape a forced marriage, is currently under 24 x 7 protection from terrorists). I did feel her perspective was useful, but as she spent most of her time just rejecting Islam instead of suggesting ways to reform, I think her impact will be little. People will not reject their heritage and other than becoming the darling of the US right, I don't think she will do much to change the very negative effects of fundamentalist Islam she rails against.

Here, there is more family detail than her earlier book, "Infidel." Part III: "Sex, Money, and Violence," is particularly interesting, as is Part IV: "Remedies."

May 09, 2017

It blows my mind to see professional haters financed by hatemongering organizations represented so well on the shelves of my public library. Tax dollars at work?

Dec 27, 2016

Good writing though at times repetitive. Thought provoking issues about parental resistance to change in a new environment; the conflict between generations, the importance of education for both young and older people, immigrants or not.

redban Sep 04, 2014

I enjoyed Ayaan's first book [Infidel] much more than this one. Her critique of fundamentalism is obviously legitimate and crucial. However, this book in particular is sparse on insight when supporting American intervention. America is not the ONLY country in the world that claims to be against Islamic fundamentalism, so I do not see why it is put on a pedestal so uncritically. How about America's support of Saudi Arabia, a source of so much extremism? How about America's military interventions in Iran, derailing their secular progress? (Let's not forget the other assassinations, support of dictators, funding of death squads, and overt occupations all over Latin America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to combat nationalization which threaten America's corporate hegemony). Then there's financial imperialism (i.e. Wall Street), which through the use of debt and fraud is much more hidden than overt violence and terror. Both sides of America should be evaluated to get a complete picture of American foreign policy and its role in preventing extremism. The comment by John_M also brings up good points.

Mar 30, 2013

The issue of integrating Muslim immigrants into western society is important and Ayaan attacks this head on. However, I found that she dwelt far too much on the anecdotes of her own life. Anecdotes may point a researcher in the direction of a course of research, but never should be provided as evidence of the roots of the problem being studied, in this case the integration of Muslim immigrants. I found that she was not clear about the issues which stem from the tribal customs that immigrants come with and the Muslim beliefs that they have. Her idea of engaging the Roman Catholic Church in changing the beliefs of the immigrants seems like a non-starter to me. I feel that we need to educate immigrants in the laws of Western society and the mechanisms which are currently available change these laws, currently democratic dialog and agreement. Immigrants must accept the current laws and the mechanisms for change, in the event that they would like the laws changed, before settling in the Western countries. Perhaps this is just as idealistic as some of the suggestions that she had.

Mar 25, 2011

This book, together with Infidel, are very important works for anyone interested in human rights, and especially the plight of women. Exceptionally well written by a brave and intelligent woman.

Sep 13, 2010

Great insight into the difficulties faced by Muslim women.


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Dec 14, 2011

Muhammad says my husband can beat me and that I am worth half as much as a man. Is it I who is being disrespectful to Muhammad in criticizing his legacy, or is it he who is disrespectful to me?

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