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‘This gut-wrenching collection forcefully documents a humanitarian crisis through the stories of five refugees in asylum purgatory in Greece.New York Times

MAP OF HOPE AND SORROW:
STORIES OF REFUGEES TRAPPED IN GREECE

By Helen Benedict and Eyad Awwadawnan,
out in the US on Oct. 18, 2022.

ABOUT MAP OF HOPE & SORROW

Award-winning author Helen Benedict and Syrian writer and refugee Eyad Awwadawnan team up to present the intimate stories of refugees from the Middle East and Africa who fled violence or persecution only to become trapped in some of the world’s worst refugee camps in Greece. Both authors spent years getting to know the interviewees and winning their trust. The result is five powerful stories of resilience, suffering and hope. Hasan, Asmahan, Evans, Mursal and Calvin each tell their story in their own words, retaining control and dignity, while revealing intimate and heartfelt scenes from their lives. They describe their homes and families in Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan or Cameroon; their arduous journeys of escape; and recount how they ended up trapped in the Europe they believed would give them freedom, only to be abused and reviled.

About The Co-Author Eyad Awwadawnan

EYAD AWWADAWNAN, formerly a law student from Damascus, Syria, is a writer and poet currently living as a refugee in Reykjavik, Iceland. During his four years in Greece, he worked as a cultural mediator, translator and interpreter for various NGOs. He published a featured article in Slate Magazine detailing his escape from Syria, which now makes the Preface of Map of Hope and Sorrow.

LATEST PIECES ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES

From the judges’ citation: “With more displaced people in the world since World War II, Helen Benedict’s Map of Hope and Sorrow feels both timely and necessary…These deeply intimate stories are told with such grace and openness, a testament to Benedict’s skills as an interviewer and journalist.”
Eyad Awwadawnan discusses his first impressions of Samos when he arrived as an asylum seeker.

WOLF SEASON

“Gripping. . . . A low level of dread builds slowly, drawing readers toward the inevitable climactic clash, though Benedict’s memorable and complicated characterization is the true highlight.”
— Publishers Weekly
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Bio

ABOUT

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Helen Benedict

Helen Benedict, a professor at Columbia University, is the author of seven novels, six books of nonfiction, and a play. Her newest nonfiction book is, Map of Hope and Sorrow, while her eighth and related novel, The Good Deed, will be out in 2024.

 

Benedict's previous novel, Wolf Season, was called "required reading" by Elissa Schappell and received a starred review in Library Journal, which wrote, “In a book that deserves the widest attention, Benedict ‘follows the war home,’ engaging readers with an insightful story right up until the gut-wrenching conclusion.”

Benedict's 2011 novel, Sand Queen, which features some of the same characters as Wolf Season, was named a “Best Contemporary War Novel” by Publishers Weekly.

A recipient of PEN’s Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History, the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, among other awards, Benedict is also the author of the books, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq; Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes; and a play, The Lonely Soldier Monologues. 

As a nonfiction writer, Benedict's coverage of sexual assault in the U.S. military inspired the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Invisible War and instigated a landmark lawsuit against the Pentagon on behalf of victims of military sexual assault. Benedict's books on violence against women have won awards from Ms. magazine and elsewhere, and Benedict has published widely and spoken at Harvard University, TED Talks, West Point, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the United Nations, among other campuses and organizations.

UPCOMING EVENTS

PAST EVENTS

Contact

CONTACT

To reach Helen Benedict email hb22@columbia.edu.

To make speaking or media inquiries, please contact

Literary Agent/Speaking Agent​: Jennifer Lyons

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