Out of Exile: Narratives from the Abducted and Displaced People of Sudan

About the Book

Millions of people have fled from conflicts and persecution in all parts of the Northeast African country of Sudan, and many thousands more have been enslaved as the result of war. Here, in their own words, men and women recount life before their displacement and the reasons for their flight, and provide insight on the major stations of the “refugee railroads”: the desert camps of Khartoum, the underground communities of Cairo, the humanitarian metropolis of Kakuma refugee camp, and the still-growing internally displaced persons camps in Darfur. Included are stories of escapes from the wars in Darfur and South Sudan, from political and religious persecution, and from abduction by paramilitary groups.

Narrators Include:

ABUK, a native of South Sudan now living in Boston, who survived ten years as a slave after being captured by an Arab militia.

MARCY AND KOI, best friends who have spent the vast majority of their lives in a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. They remember almost nothing of their former homes in Sudan.

MATHOK, who struggled to find opportunities as a refugee in Cairo, but eventually fell into a world of gangs and violence.

JOHN, a teacher fighting to keep a school for Sudanese refugees alive in a poverty-stricken slum in Nairobi.

About the Editor:

Craig Walzer co-founded and operates a bookstore on the island of Santorini in Greece, Atlantis Books, and a bookstore in Madrid called Desperate Literature.

Praise for Out of Exile:

Many of those who do survive escape with nothing but their story, something this essential collection of oral testimony records and, in a realistic way, celebrates… Time and again in this book, lives balance precariously between extraordinary acts of cruelty and lifesaving gestures of kindness.

John Freeman for SFGate

By telling the stories of a few of the millions of southern Sudanese refugees in their own words, and taking the time to get to know these people instead of portraying them as sad faces in a CNN video clip, editor Craig Walzer succeeded in bring these refugees’ often harrowing stories to light in a realistic, nuanced way.

Maggie Fick for the Enough Project

This riveting collection of 17 narratives puts a human face on the human-rights tragedy of Sudan. Students of global studies and international relations will find an abundance of research information in the excellent appendices, but the heart and soul of the book is most certainly in the heart-wrenching narratives of these people.

Paula Dacker for School Library Journal

Related Resources

View the Lesson Plans
The lessons use oral history to promote a nuanced understanding of the abducted and displaced people of Sudan.
Book Club Discussion Questions
Use these questions to encourage meaningful discussions about the book.
Aloud Podcast
This podcast hosted by the Los Angeles Public Library features an interview about Out of Exile.
Review at Enough Project
Read Maggie Fick’s review at Enough Project.

Media Coverage