Call Me American: A Memoir

We rated this book:


Personal. Profound. Pungent.

Somali immigrant Abdi Nor Iftin’s shocking story of growing up in war-torn Somalia brings readers face-to-face with death, dire poverty, and seemingly insurmountable odds under the violent rule of radical Islamist group Al-Shabaab. His words are a punch in the gut to readers living a comfortable, safe life, especially in today’s anti-immigration political climate.

Yet Iftin’s tale is also one of hope. Always in love with American culture, he taught himself English by watching movies and was known as “Abdi American” in Mogadishu. His love for Western ideas threatens to get him killed, but he uses his knowledge and linguistic skills to post secret dispatches for NPR about life under Al-Shabaab. In order to save his life, Iftin becomes a refugee and miraculously wins entrance to the US via the annual lottery.

Yet his tale is not over. Iftin details his experience among Somali immigrants in Maine and the struggle to acclimate to a new culture. But he also describes his belief in the unending opportunities for a better life. Challenges continue. Rather than let life break him, Iftin remains optimistic and overcomes the odds. Today, Iftin lives works as an interpreter for Somali immigrants in Maine and is studying at the University of Southern Maine.

Call Me American is a tale of hope and hard work, of overcoming adversity and defeating the odds. It made me more compassionate for refugees wishing for a better life in America. It might just change your perspective as well.

Reviewed By:

Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2018-Jun-19
ISBN 9781524732196 Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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