The Lost Boys of Sudan
An American Story of the Refugee Experience

Mark Bixler

From genocide in Africa to a second chance in America

Reviews

"Mark Bixler shows what the refugee experience is like for tribal, traditional, and traumatized people as they crash into modern America. While there are quite a few books on the Sudanese in America, this is the one that connects personal stories to history, foreign policy, and public policy. It's erudite and readable, a rare combination."
—Mary Pipher, author of The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community

"The journey of the 'Lost Boys of Sudan' is both heartbreaking and inspiring. It speaks to the strength of the human spirit to survive and grow under even the most abject circumstances. Their plight eloquently shows us the terrible consequences for children of war, and their personal triumphs over adversity symbolize a great hope for Africa and the global community."
—President Jimmy Carter


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Description

In 2000 the United States began accepting 3,800 refugees from one of Africa’s longest civil wars. They were just some of the thousands of young men, known as “Lost Boys,” who had been orphaned or otherwise separated from their families in the chaos of a brutal conflict that has ravaged Sudan since 1983. The Lost Boys of Sudan focuses on four of these refugees. Theirs, however, is a typical story, one that repeated itself wherever the Lost Boys could be found across America.

Jacob Magot, Peter Anyang, Daniel Khoch, and Marko Ayii were among 150 or so Lost Boys who were resettled in Atlanta. Like most of their fellow refugees, they had never before turned on a light switch, used a kitchen appliance, or ridden in a car or subway train—much less held a job or balanced a checkbook. We relive their early excitement and disorientation, their growing despondency over fruitless job searches, adjustments they faced upon finally entering the workforce, their experiences of post-9/11 xenophobia, and their undying dreams of acquiring an education.

As we immerse ourselves in the Lost Boys’ daily lives, we also get to know the social services professionals and volunteers, celebrities, community leaders, and others who guided them—with occasional detours—toward self-sufficiency. Along the way author Mark Bixler looks closely at the ins and outs of U.S. refugee policy, the politics of international aid, the history of Sudan, and the radical Islamist underpinnings of its government. America is home to more foreign-born residents than ever before; the Lost Boys have repaid that gift in full through their example of unflagging resolve, hope, and faith.

Page count: 288 pp.
Illustrated
Trim size: 6 x 9

 

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Paper
List price:
978-0-8203-2883-6
10/1/2006
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Mark Bixler writes for the national news desk at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he has reported extensively about immigrants and refugees, as well as about Sudan. He has also been a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal.