Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ishmael Beah's Memory of Events

There was notice in Publishers Weekly yesterday (January 21, 2008) that one of the books on my personal 'Best of 2007' list, Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone, may be inaccurate.

According to Publishers Weekly, Sydney's The Australian reports that Beah's chronology of events in war-torn Sierra Leone differs from actual dates in the conflict. (January 19, 2008 and January 21, 2008)

It appears that Beah's claim to have spent two years as a soldier may be inaccurate.

I heard Beah speak at the 2007 Pennsylvania Library Association conference in State College, PA. Regardless of whether his book is factually correct, his book and his speech were both moving accounts of how war affects communities and families.

Publishers' Weekly says that a statement is expected from Beah's publisher later today. I'm sure thar I won't be alone in watching how this story resolves itself.