All We Leave Behind

All We Leave Behind

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Winner of the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
Finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction
Finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

 

A remarkable work of non-fiction that reads like a thriller, All We Leave Behind is the story of an Afghan family's frightening escape from a murderous warlord, written by a journalist who broke all her own rules to get them to safety.


     In 2002, Carol Off and a CBC TV crew encountered an Afghan man with a story to tell. Asad Aryubwal wanted to expose the tyranny of his country's warlords and reveal their deep involvement with Americans and NATO troops. He took a calculated risk when he agreed to be a key figure in a documentary. But his courage and candour set off a chain of events from which there was no turning back. Asad, his wife, Mobina, and their five children had to flee their home.
     In exile, the family was still in danger and facing an uncertain future. Their dilemma compelled a journalist to cross the lines of disinterested reporting and become deeply involved. Together, they navigated the Byzantine international bureaucracy and the Canadian government's intransigence until the family finally found a new home. 
    Carol Off's powerful account traces not only one family's journey and fraught attempts to immigrate to a safe place, it also illustrates what happens when a journalist becomes irrevocably caught up in the lives of the people in her story and finds herself unable to leave them behind.
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