The Lightless Sky
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The boy who fled Afghanistan and endured a terrifying journey in the hands of people smugglers is now a young man intent on changing the world. His story is a deeply harrowing and incredibly inspiring tale of our times.
‘To risk my life had to mean something. Otherwise what was it all for?’
Gulwali Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of twelve, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US Army. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali began a twelvemonth odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, making a terrifying journey across the Mediterranean in a tiny boat, and enduring a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived, and made it to Britain, no longer an innocent child but still a young boy alone. In Britain he was fostered, sent to a good school, won a place at a top university, and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012.
Gulwali wants to tell his story – to bring to life the plight of the thousands of men, women and children who are making this perilous journey every day. One boy’s experience is the central story of our times. This memoir celebrates the triumph of courage and determination over adversity.
An extraordinary man - achieving against all odds -- Jon Snow * Twitter * Riveting * The Bookseller * [A] powerful account of a year-long journey to Britain... As a call for Europe and Britain to do more for the world's refugees, the book is as powerful as that harrowing picture of the dead toddler on the beach. * The Times * This is a harrowing but necessary must-read about an exceptional young man. * Stylist * The Lightless Sky is a heart-rending read that illuminates the plight of unaccompanied minors forced to leave their homes and loved ones. [Passarlay's] fierce intelligence is apparent throughout... His powerful account is a testament to the courage of all those fleeing conflict in search of safety. * The Independent on Sunday * Beautifully written... It should be required reading in British schools. * The Big Issue * A Book of the Year * New Statesman * A story which moved me to tears more than once * Women Together *
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