Somali refugee Abdi Nor Iftin will talk about his extraordinary new book, Call Me American: A Memoir, in a program sponsored by the Wilmette Public Library.
The event is free and open to the public, and tickets are not required. A book signing will follow, with copies of Call Me American available for purchase courtesy of The Book Stall.
Call Me American presents the incredible story of Iftin’s childhood in war-torn Somalia, when American movies and music provided him with an escape from a harrowing life. Years later, in a dream-come-true miracle, Iftin won a place in the American Green Card Lottery, and his escape to America became a reality.
Iftin’s dramatic and stirring story was originally documented on an episode of the public radio show, This American Life, in 2015, and his experience continues to serve as a modern-day and timely tale. Not only does the memoir offer insight into a refugee’s desperate desire to escape, but it also serves as a reminder of why western democracies still call to those who seek a better life.
Now a proud and legal resident of Portland, Maine, and on his path to citizenship, Iftin works as an interpreter for Somalis who have immigrated to the state. He also attends the University of Southern Maine, where he is studying political science.
Call Me American was named a finalist for the 2018 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction. Booklist noted that the memoir is “as compelling as a novel or one of the Hollywood movies that (Iftin) says saved his life… an essential immigrant story, one that is enlightening and immediate.”
Publishers Weekly described the book as a “wrenching yet hopeful autobiography,” and Kirkus called it “a searing memoir…that impressively remains upbeat, highly inspiring, and always educational.”
The Library has multiple copies of Call Me American for checkout. For more information, visit www.wilmettelibrary.info/meet-the-author or call (847) 256-6930.