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An Obama's Journey: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery across Three Cultures Hardcover – September 16, 2014

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Editorial Reviews


“The book is captivating. It gave me new insights into Mark’s life with his half-brother, President Barack Obama, as well as the limited time that he had with his father, Barack Obama Sr. This book is a compelling read for those who are very interested in learning more about President Obama and his family, as well as the work Mark has done...[Mark] is a remarkable person. When you read this book, you’ll get a good sense of him, of the family history, and for his commitment to justice and equality.”
- Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard University, and founding and executive director of Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice

An Obama’s Journey is a touching story of one man’s transnational search for identity, cultural understanding, and forgiveness. It’s a riveting, stunningly honest read that transcends being the biography of the president’s half-brother; from his early years in Kenya to his coming of age in the United States and final passage to China, Mark Obama has a remarkable tale to tell in his own right.”
—Jenni Marsh, South China Morning Post

"A fascinating chronicle of Mark Obama Ndesandjo's personal and spiritual journey across continents to find both himself and his place in the world. Mark's relationship with half-brother Barack Obama provides a complicated and often painful backdrop to his quest, and remains an unresolved international mystery that must be resolved for Mark to find peace...beautifully written."
- Charles C. Johnson, journalist and author, Why Coolidge Matters 
"With gut-wrenching honesty, Mark Obama Ndesandjo exorcises demons from his past while delicately balancing diverse cultures that straddle three continents. His candor covers failures, successes, racism, a scandal or two, musical joys, charitable pleasures, and amazement at watching from a distance as his rival sibling performed political miracles."
— John Cairns, author of All Aboard! Planet Expat 

“Like any great autobiography, this book is about more than a person. It is about humanity and relationships and holds lessons for all to learn. I enjoyed reading the full and nuanced description of Africa’s beauty and savagery and about its curiously admirable indifference. Mark captures the heady days before the tech bubble in America, and lands in China just in time to witness the vibrant new life the Chinese are creating for themselves. The scenes where he meets Barack crackle with electricity. Their evolving friendship is fascinating to watch. Masterly writing, with poignant anecdotes and insightful, quotable thoughts, yet is cohesive with breathtaking transitions.”
—Fritz Galt, author of China Gate

“Mark Obama’s story inspires as it reveals how he has managed to use his tumultuous childhood experiences to uplift and guide orphans to overcome their own childhood obstacles. He is a survivor of the sometimes unbearable, unhappy, and uncontrollable circumstances that are thrown at us at an early age. Like a true survivor, he uses his talents of writing and music to influence those around him into shaping a more positive future for themselves and the world around them.”
—Sara Atzmon, Holocaust survivor and artist

About the Author

 Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo is an accomplished American pianist, writer, artist, and businessman. Born in Kenya and a twelve year resident of Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China, he has a BSc in physics from Brown University, an MSc in physics from Stanford, and an EMBA from Emory. He consults worldwide, using many years of telecommunications and international marketing and branding experience gained as a senior manager at Lucent, Nortel, and other companies. He is an HSK L7 (advanced) Mandarin speaker and writer, and an avid brush calligrapher. In addition to his first book, the sensational and acclaimed novel Nairobi to Shenzhen, he has published three piano CDs: The Untimely Ones, Night Moods, and his own composition, Reflections on William Blake.
 His current projects include a analysis of the Tang Dynasty poet Li Shangyin, who Mark calls the 'Chinese Kafka'. He regularly volunteers piano lessons to orphans in and around Shenzhen, and has been appointed Volunteer Image Ambassador and Special Olympics Image Ambassador by China. Recently he established the Mark Obama Ndesandjo Foundation Ltd. for cultural exchange, which brings art to youth and the disadvantaged. He lives in Shenzhen, China. Visit him at
Mark will be donating a portion of his book profits to his Foundation or to other organizations that promote art education among disadvantaged children worldwide.

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