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In this harrowing autobiography, Ali boldly narrates the journey from her violent and impoverished upbringing in Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu, to a career in Dutch politics. At times horrifying, her tale is especially poignant today, as refugees are so frequently being turned around at the threshold.— Jade
“The author spent the first 20 years of her life being a dutiful daughter and devout, if questioning, Muslim. When she is forced into an arranged marriage, she finally rebels and seeks refugee status in Holland. Her story is fascinating, and articulates Ali's strong belief that Islam should reform its practice of subjugating and abusing women. This memoir could potentially add a great deal to our understanding of a complex religious culture.”
— Alice Meloy, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
"A brave and elegant figure...an honest woman...No one who reads her [memoirs] will doubt the self-questioning and the rigorous honesty of her mind. Perhaps, as in Voltaire's short story 'L'IngÉnu,' it is that too much honesty is sometimes unpalatable, even if it is couched in civil terms...She has an open mind that has released itself from the old straitjacketed frame of reference of Right and Left, she is instinctively, deeply antiauthoritarian and she is unlikely to stick to straight ideological lines. She will go on asking difficult questions."
-- Isabella Thomas, The Observer
"Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of Europe's most controversial political figures and a target for terrorists. A notably enigmatic personality whose fierce criticisms of Islam have made her a darling of...conservatives...and...popular with leftists...Soft-spoken but passionate."
-- The Boston Globe
"Too potent a social critic to be tolerated any longer [in her home country]...an unflinching advocate of women's rights and an unflinching critic of Islamic extremism."
-- The New York Times
"A charismatic figure...of arresting and hypnotizing beauty...[who writes] with quite astonishing humor and restraint."
-- Christopher Hitchens