Beneath the Tamarind Tree


Product Details

Dey Street Books
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.7 X 1.1 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Isha Sesay is an award-winning journalist who led the CNN team that won a 2014 Peabody Award for coverage of the missing Chibok girls. She hosted CNN NewsCenter, headed the network's Africa reporting for ten years, and received a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor for her coverage of the Chibok girls' story. She is the founder of W.E. (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing and empowering teenage girls to become Africa's next generation of leaders. Of Sierra Leonean descent, Sesay grew up in Britain and holds a BA with honors in English from Trinity College, Cambridge University. She lives in Los Angeles.


"It is no accident that the places in the world where we see the most instability are those in which the rights of women and girls are denied. Isha Sesay's indispensable and gripping account of the brutal abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram terrorists provides a stark reminder of the great unfinished business of the 21st century: equality for girls and women around the world." -- Hillary Rodham Clinton

"Isha Sesay has given us a gift in this account of the Stolen Chibok Girls of Nigeria. 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. I am proud to call her my friend, and I hope you give yourself the gift of her book." -- Meryl Streep

"A gorgeously-written story of sisterhood and survival, Beneath the Tamarind Tree is Isha Sesay's masterpiece: a riveting and hope-filled account of a horrific event, filled with stories of bravery and verve, and fortified by Isha's unparalleled access and instinctual humanism as a reporter. By lifting the distinct voices of these brave young women--and telling a largely untold story as only she could tell it--this book is essential reading, as inspiring as it is informative." -- Don Lemon

"Rich details and dedicated, courageous reporting create a powerful tale of faith, love, and loss." -- Kirkus (starred review)

"Great for readers who want to learn more about African gender politics, the history of Boko Haram, and women in the media." -- Library Journal

"The most intimate portrait yet of what happened to the Chibok girls between abduction and rescue. [...] Sesay has done yeoman work in earning the trust of the girls, enabling her to recount their experiences with rare empathy." -- Boston Globe

"This book matters because it tells a gut-wrenching story, as relatable as a story about he deranged gunmen who come into our children's schools in the United States again and again. [...] At its core, it is a story about mothers and daughters, and its emotional spine is the story of Sesay's relationship to her own mother." -- The New York Times Book Review