Download Don't Tell Me You're Afraid: A Novel Audiobook

Dont Tell Me Youre Afraid: A Novel Audiobook, by Giuseppe Catozzella Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Giuseppe Catozzella Narrator: Adjoa Andoh Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9780735208636
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Based on a remarkable true story, an unforgettable Somali girl risks her life on the migrant journey to Europe to run in the Olympic Games

At eight years of age, Samia lives to run. She shares her dream with her best friend and neighbor, Ali, who appoints himself her “professional coach.” Eight-year-old Ali trains her, times her, and pushes her to achieve her goals. For both children, Samia’s running is the bright spot in their tumultuous life in Somalia. She is talented, brave, and determined to represent her country in the Olympic Games, just like her hero, the great Somali runner Mo Farah.

For the next several years, Samia and Ali train at night in a deserted stadium, as war rages and political tensions continue to escalate. Despite the lack of resources, despite the war, and despite all of the restrictions imposed on Somali women, Samia becomes a world-class runner. As a teenager, she is selected to represent her country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She finishes last in her heat at the Games, but the sight of the small, skinny woman in modest clothes running in the dust of athletes like Veronica Campbell-Brown brings the Olympic stadium to its feet.

Samia sets her sights on the 2012 Olympics, in London, the home of Mo Farah. Conditions in Somalia have deteriorated, and Samia must get to London on her own. To do so, she is forced to make the arduous migrant journey across Africa and the Mediterranean.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] heart-wrenching novel…The voice of Samia packs an achingly topical punch, shouting out as an enduring witness to crimes committed by those trafficking in misery and despair.”

    Mail on Sunday (London)

  • “Serves as a sobering reminder of the life-threatening challenges many migrants face in the pursuit of freedom.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Based on a true story, this bestselling novel won twelve awards in Catozzella’s native Italy.”

    Library Journal

  • “The first-person narrative…gives the story a spirit and urgency that readers won’t easily forget.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In this timely novel, narrator Adjoa Andoh brings out the energy of a young African woman’s tumultuous life…Andoh’s narration has a subdued quality to it, hinting at Samia’s tragic end.”


  • “Catozzella constructs a world. You read about it, witness it, are assailed by it. But when you realize that you too are in that world, that’s when you get the feeling that its pages have changed you.”

    Roberto Saviano, PEN/Pinter Prize–winning author

  • “Catozzella has managed to convey a close understanding of a harsh, unfamiliar reality. This is a novel that I salute for its ability to recount a great heroic epic of our time.”

    Erri De Luca, France Culture Prize–winning author

  • “I will carry the memory of Samia with me for a long time—her childhood in a Mogadishu ravaged by civil strife, her hopes of becoming an Olympic champion, her journey to Europe tragically cut short…a story that is entirely true, that moved me.”

    Goffredo Fofi, Italian music critic

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About the Author

Giuseppe Catozzella is an award-winning Italian writer whose writing has appeared in Il Corriere della Sera, Vanity Fair, Granta, and other publications. He is the author of several works of fiction. Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid has sold over 100,000 copies in Italy, where it won several major awards. Following the Italian publication, Catozzella was appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. His published works cover multiple literary genres, including plays, short stories, and novels. He was born in Milan and studied philosophy at the University of Milan.

About the Narrator

Adjoa Andoh is an Audie Award and Earphones Award–winning narrator and an actress of British film, television, stage, and radio. She is known on the UK stage for lead roles at the RSC, the National Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre, and the Almeida Theatre, and she is a familiar face on British television. She made her Hollywood debut starring as Nelson Mandela’s chief of staff, Brenda Mazikubo, alongside Morgan Freeman as Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus.