Biography

Ishmael Beah

Ishmael Beah, born in 1980 in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is the New York Times bestselling author of A LONG WAY GONE: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. The book has been published in over 30 languages and was nominated for a Quill Award in 2007. Time magazine named the book as one of the top 10 nonfiction books of 2007, ranking it at number three. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vespertine Press, LIT, Parabola, and numerous academic journals.

He is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War; a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Advisory Committee; an advisory board member at the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Violence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; visiting scholar at the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University; visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights at Rutgers University; cofounder of the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW); and president of the Ishmael Beah Foundation. He has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many panels on the effects of war on children.

He is a graduate of Oberlin College with a B.A. in Political Science and resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Ishmael Beah

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Books by Ishmael Beah

by Ishmael Beah - Fiction

Benjamin and Bockarie are two longtime friends who return to their hometown of Imperi after the civil war in Sierra Leone. As more villagers begin coming back, they try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they’re beset by such obstacles as a scarcity of food and a rash of murders, thievery, rape and retaliation. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they’re forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike.

by Ishmael Beah - Memoir, Nonfiction

In A LONG WAY GONE, Ishmael Beah tells a riveting story: how at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By 13, 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.