Review: Slave

Title:  Slave: My True Story

Author:  Mende Nazar and Damien Lewis

Published:  April 26, 2005

# of Pages:  368

ISBN:  978-1586483180

My Rating:  5/5

At age twelve, Mende Nazar lost her childhood.  It began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, setting fire to the village huts and murdering the adults.  The raiders rounded up thirty-one young children, including Mende, who was eventually sold to a wealthy Arab family in Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum.  So began Mende’s seven dark years of enslavement.  Normally, Mende’s story never would have come to light, but when she was sent to work for another master – a diplomat working in London – she made a dramatic break for freedom.

Published to critical acclaim for the honesty and clarity of its prose, Slave is a story almost beyond belief.  It depicts the strength and dignity of the Nuba tribe.  It recounts the savage cruelty of the secret, modern-day trade in slaves.  Most of all, it is “a profound meditation on the human ability to survive under virtually any circumstances.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Wow.  This book is amazing.  I mean, really, there’s just no way I can do it justice in a review.  What Nazar struggled through while she was enslaved is unbelievable – it’s difficult to grasp the fact that this occured in the mid to late 1990’s, in “civilized” society – the capital city of Sudan as well as London, England.  The book shocked me.  Nazar’s ability to tell her story, to do so with such openness as she did, is amazing to me.  

I truly don’t have much else to say other than – Slave is absolutely a must-read.  I can’t emphasize that enough.  What a powerful, inspiring story.  I’m so glad I picked this book up and I truly believe you should too.

Another review:  Natasha at Maw Books Blog

23 thoughts on “Review: Slave”

  1. I must read “Slave.” I love your review. I have read a few slave narratives. These narratives took place in the Nineteenth Century. I would find “Slave” very interesting because it takes place in our lifetime. Thanks for the review.

  2. “I must read “Slave.” I love your review. I have read a few slave narratives. These narratives took place in the Nineteenth Century. I would find “Slave” very interesting because it takes place in our lifetime. Thanks for the review.”

    This is my post. I thought I should say something.

  3. I ran across references to this book during last year’s Africa Reading Challenge and had meant to look it up, but it slipped my mind. Thanks for recalling it to mind for me; I definitely want to read it.

  4. Hi! I was lucky enough to hear Mende’s account at a seminar I attended a few months back. It was so moving and powerful hearing her go through what happened to her. I don’t know how she managed to go up there and tell her story. This lady truly is a fighter. I really must read her book.

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