Download Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram Audiobook

Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram Audiobook, by Isha Sesay Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Isha Sesay Narrator: Isha Sesay Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2019 ISBN: 9780062917539
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The first definitive account of Boko Haram’s abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, their years in captivity, and why this story still matters - by celebrated international journalist Isha Sesay. 

The kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in 2014 made global headlines. From poor Nigerian families, these girls had defied the odds and pursued an education, but daring to dream resulted in one of the most high-profile abductions in modern history. Award-winning CNN anchor Isha Sesay was on the front lines as the story broke, and when 21 of the girls were released, she was the only journalist to accompany them on their dangerous journey back home.

In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, having developed unprecedented access to the Chibok girls, Sesay shares an intimate account of the night Boko Haram attacked, exclusive details about their years in captivity, and their daring tales of escape. We meet Priscilla who dreamt of becoming a doctor, Saa who juggled schoolwork with family obligations, Mary who fought constant homesickness to stay in school, and Dorcas who planned to be the first in her family to get a college degree.

Sesay delves into the inadequate Nigerian government response to the kidnapping, while synthesizing lessons about global national security. She also reminds us of the personal sacrifice required of journalists to bring us the truth, at a time of growing mistrust of the media. Beneath the Tamarind Tree is a gripping listen and a story of resilience with a soaring message of hope at its core, reminding us of the ever-present truth that progress for all of us hinges on unleashing the potential of women.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “More than reportage, it is equal parts memoir, thriller, and inspirational call to arms for the defense of the rights of women and girls, and the civilization that honors them.”

    Meryl Streep, award-winning actress

  • “In enthralling and unnerving passages…Sesay fully recounts each stage of the ordeal…Sesay conducted ‘hundreds of hours of conversations’ to understand what happened in the chaos of the ambush and during the girls’ long, brutal, often bizarre captivity…Sesay’s narrative is not only dramatically informative, it is also brilliantly structured, commandingly eloquent, and profoundly empathic.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A compelling, empathetic tale that focuses on the lives of four of the Chibok girls and their immediate family members…Rich details and dedicated, courageous reporting create a powerful tale of faith, love, and loss.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “A gorgeously-written story of sisterhood and survival, Beneath the Tamarind Tree is Isha Sesay’s masterpiece…fortified by Isha’s unparalleled access and instinctual humanism as a reporter.”

    Don Lemon, award-winning news anchor

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About the Author

Isha Sesay is a journalist who led the CNN team that won a 2014 Peabody Award for coverage of the missing Chibok girls. She hosted NewsCenter with Isha Sesay on CNN, and headed the network’s Africa reporting for ten years. Sesay received a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor for her coverage of this story, in addition to other accolades during her decade-long tenure at CNN. Of Sierra Leonean descent, Sesay grew up in Britain and holds a BA honors English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University. She lives in Los Angeles.