Synopses & Reviews
"This woman is a major hero of our time." Richard Dawkins
Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, her compelling coming-of-age memoir, which spent thirty-one weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, in Nomad, Hirsi Ali tells of coming to America to build a new life, an ocean away from the death threats made to her by European Islamists, the strife she witnessed, and the inner conflict she suffered. It is the story of her physical journey to freedom and, more crucially, her emotional journey to freedomher transition from a tribal mind-set that restricts women’s every thought and action to a life as a free and equal citizen in an open society. Through stories of the challenges she has faced, she shows the difficulty of reconciling the contradictions of Islam with Western values.
In these pages Hirsi Ali recounts the many turns her life took after she broke with her family, and how she struggled to throw off restrictive superstitions and misconceptions that initially hobbled her ability to assimilate into Western society. She writes movingly of her reconciliation, on his deathbed, with her devout father, who had disowned her when she renounced Islam after 9/11, as well as with her mother and cousins in Somalia and in Europe.
Nomad is a portrait of a family torn apart by the clash of civilizations. But it is also a touching, uplifting, and often funny account of one woman’s discovery of today’s America. While Hirsi Ali loves much of what she encounters, she fears we are repeating the European mistake of underestimating radical Islam. She calls on key institutions of the Westincluding universities, the feminist movement, and the Christian churchesto enact specific, innovative remedies that would help other Muslim immigrants to overcome the challenges she has experienced and to resist the fatal allure of fundamentalism and terrorism.
This is Hirsi Ali’s intellectual coming-of-age, a memoir that conveys her philosophy as well as her experiences, and that also conveys an urgent message and missionto inform the West of the extent of the threat from Islam, both from outside and from within our open societies. A celebration of free speech and democracy, Nomad is an important contribution to the history of ideas, but above all a rousing call to action.
“Illuminating analysis… [NOMAD’s] special strength…lies in the way that her arguments and perceptions are rooted in personal experience…. She rages eloquently…writes revealingly. NOMAD is an excellent read.”
--New York Review of Books “Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new memoir is the most powerful book you will have read in a long time.” --Christian Science Monitor
"Brilliant” --Tunku Varadarajan, The Daily Beast
Hirsi Ali tells the stirring story of her search for a new life in America in this vivid philosophical memoir, picking up where INFIDEL left off.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the worlds attention with Infidel
, the critically acclaimed, eye-opening memoir of her Muslim childhood in Africa and Saudi Arabia and her eventual escape to the Netherlands to avoid a forced marriage. After a Dutch film director with whom she made a documentary about the mistreatment of Muslim women was murdered by a radical Islamist, death threats forced Hirsi Ali into hiding, ultimately leading her to move to a more secure life in the United States working with a political think tank.
Nomad is the story of everything that happened after Hirsi Ali left Holland and moved to America in a brave bid to start an entirely new life. In it she recounts her renewed contact with her family after her fathers death, and her attempts to live her newly adopted principles in the face of continued attempts by Islamists to stifle her free speech. Through vivid anecdotes and observations of people, cultures, and political debacles, she weaves together her recent personal story with the stories of other women and men she encounters. With a deep understanding of the situation of Muslim women in the world today and her singular, unwavering courage, Hirsi Ali offers her always notable, often controversial analysis of Islam from her new vantage in America.
About the Author
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her college degree in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and now serves as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West.