Call Me American: A Memoir
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.
Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Author||Abdi Nor Iftin|
|Page Count||320 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|