Synopses & Reviews
This Our Exile recounts incredible stories of refugees who migrated to Nairobi from Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Mozambique, and Ethiopia, blending their individual lives with reports on the political and social turmoil they fled. Martin takes us to remote and incredible places, from a teeming UN refugee camp in the dry lands of northern Uganda to a lonely chapel on the windswept coast of East Africa. In other, more lighthearted moments he recounts his own misadventures, and some of the more amusing aspects of adjusting to life in Nairobi.
Seamlessly combining spiritual writing, reportage, travel narrative, humor and even some recent history, a young American Jesuit tells of his time working with the refugees of East Africa. His mission was straightforward: to help the refugees who had settled in the sprawling slums of Nairobi, Kenya, to begin small businesses and earn a living. He imagined that he would be teaching them much, and he did. But the Kenyans and refugees with whom the author worked -- from Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia -- would end up teaching him much more about life, about survival and faith, and about love and friendship. With stories that are by turns frankly incredible, darkly comic, inspirational, tragic, and always provocative, this compelling work is a wonderfully realized tribute to our shared humanity.
Graham Greene knew quite well that "the heart of the matter" is our common humanity, no matter who we are, and where we call home. Put differently, sometimes we have to leave home to find home -- leave our lives to find them, with the help of others. James Martin's book tells us that -- well, really, shows us that, through incident after incident, carefully and lovingly rendered; his Africa is yet another place that has received pilgrims, anxious not only to travel through a particular countryside but upward, on their way to God's gracious presence. -- From the Foreword by Robert Coles