From Publishers Weekly
Astonishing in its power to move and inform, this fluent first-person narrative, a collaboration between a young Kenyan political refugee, Kenney, and his stalwart American attorney, Schrag, depicts the flaws and corruption at the heart of the U.S. asylum process. Kenney fled Kenya in 1995 after being arrested and nearly executed for leading a peaceful protest against the government's treatment of his fellow tea farmers; he survived torture and escaped to America where he was plunged into an incomprehensible and hostile immigration system. Kenney and Schrag's dealings with the Department of Homeland Security and federal immigration courts reveal a system that is disquietingly random. Applicants are victims of refugee roulette, their fates largely dependent on the sympathies of the government officials who hear their cases. Schrag's recommendations to make the system more consistent and compassionate give the book—and Kenney's heartbreaking story—an added sense of purpose and real practical potential. Kenya's recent political implosion lends this book added topical relevance, but its core concerns for justice and reform remain directed at American society, especially (though not only) its byzantine asylum system. (May)
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“Reminds us of the persecution that refugees face, takes our collective conscience and shakes it to the core.”
“Astonishing in its power to move and inform. . .Its core concerns for justice and reform remain directed at American society.”
“A dismaying account of bureaucracy at its red-tape-bound worst. . . . Wrenching human drama”
“A model of polished prose and informed advocacy .”
(National Catholic Reporter
“Reads like a suspense story.”