The distinguished author of Praying for Sheetrock and two-time National Book award finalist puts a human face on the AIDS crisis in Africa.
When Haregwoin Teferras husband and 23-year-old daughter died within a few years of each other, her middle-class life in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was shattered. Bereft and with little to live for, Haregwoin became a recluse. Her self-imposed exile to a hut near her daughters grave was interrupted when a priest delivered first one, then another, orphaned teenager into her care. To everyones surprise, the children thrived, and so did Haregwoin. As word spread, children of all ages began to appear at her modest home: an infant brought by a dying mother, an orphaned brother and sister whose grandfather was too poor to feed them, a baby left on her doorstep. Haregwoins small compound became known as the rare place where ailing parents and impoverished families could safely leave their children. Soon Haregwoin was caring for sixty children, running an unofficial orphanage and day school, and learning first-hand about her countrys and her continents greatest challenge: the AIDS pandemic that is leaving millions of children without parents to care for them.
With the flair and grace of a novelist and the reportorial instincts of a seasoned journalist, Melissa Fay Greene gets to the heart of the AIDS crisis, in a story that is nevertheless one of hope. There Is No Me Without You is the story of Haregwoin and her children: a story of struggle and despair, but also of the triumph of saved lives, and the renewed happiness of children welcomed by adoptive parents in Ethiopia, America, and around the world. Haregewoins remarkable story convinces us that the crisis in Africa touches every one of us in some fundamental way. At heart, this book is about children and the parents they need to care for them.
More than 13 million children have been orphaned by AIDS
in Africa; UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS) predicts that
by 2010 25-50 million African children under the age of 15 will be orphaned; in
a dozen African countries, up to a quarter of the nation's children will be
When Melissa Fay Green started to research There Is No Me Without You she
was driven by a simple question: Who will raise the millions of children
currently orphaned, let alone the generations to come? Who will pack them school
lunches? Who will comfort them when they have nightmares? Who will help millions
of children avoid lines of servitude and prostitution? Who will pass on to them
the traditions of their culture and religion, of history and government, of
craft and profession? Who will help them to grow up to make the right choices
for their own lives?
The answer is not many - but there are some, In There is No Me Without You:
One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children, Greene puts a human face on
this overwhelming tragedy by focusing on one imperfect woman, Haregwoin Teferra,
who in the face of her own tragedy found the strength to take in orphans, both
HIV-positive and negative and since then has given hope and a home to dozens, if
not hundreds of children. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The horrific numbers behind the AIDS pandemic in Africa, "the most terrible epidemic in human history," have little resonance for most people in the West: The detail of one lost child at a time, who finds love, laughter, comfort, and connection, opens up the universal meaning of family.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Colin KNAUF We can't sit on our THUMBS any longer, or it is GENOCIDE. Melissa Fay Greene's hard hitting journalistic style remains as neutral as possible in this real life horror story and fairy tale. She relates the pain and suffering of AIDS at every level with an amazing compassion and reality. Try as any one... Read More
Rated of 5
by Corrie If You Only Read 1 Book This Year, Then It Should Be This One! You have to read this book! We, in the US, are so oblivious to what is going on in other parts of the world, especially Ethiopia. This book will capture your attention from the start and really gets you thinking.
A Short History of Ethiopia The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (historically known as
Abyssinia) is located in east Africa, on the "Horn of Africa" (map).
Once an important trade route due to its location on the Red Sea, it has been
landlocked since 1993, when the province of Eritrea gained independence.
It is the oldest independent country in Africa (and is unique in that it was
never colonized), the second-oldest official Christian nation (after Armenia)
and one of the 51 original members of the United Nations. Its capital is
Addis Ababa (pronounced ah-deece ah-bah-bah). With a landmass a little
over twice the size of Texas and a population of about 75 million, it is the
third most populous country in Africa (after Nigeria and Egypt) and the 16th
most populous in the world.
Emperor Haile Salassie* ruled from 1930 to 1974, during which time he undertook
a program of rapid modernization; but his reign ended abruptly in 1974 when a
pro-Soviet military junta, the Derg, deposed him and established a one-party
Humanitarian workers define courage in the 21st century. This book gives voice to their stories, to their ability to survive
in the face of death, to their humanity to one another and to those they seek
An epic tale of a father and two sons, of betrayals and loyalties, of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopias revolution.
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