2018 Finalist


Carol Off

All We Leave Behind: A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others

All We Leave Behind: A Reporterby Carol Off

All We Leave Behind is a timely memoir that offers both context to and a close-up of uncomfortable truths: the failures of the West's involvement in Afghanistan, the hurdles confronting refugees who seek safety in Canada, and the dilemma of a combat journalist expected to maintain professional distance from her sources. Carol Off relied on Asad Aryubwal's willingness to reveal the crimes of warlords on whom NATO pinned its hopes for stability after the reign of the Taliban, but his on-camera testimony put him and his family at risk. After precarious years in exile, the Aryubwals hoped for refugee status in Canada; Off decided she had to help. Then began a harrowing seven-year battle with corrupt or hostile bureaucracies, abroad and at home. With bracing insight and a skillfully crafted narrative, this work forces a rethinking of our attitudes to those who ask us for sanctuary.

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