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Biography & Autobiography Editors, Journalists, Publishers

All We Leave Behind

A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others

by (author) Carol Off

Publisher
Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Aug 2018
Category
Editors, Journalists, Publishers, General, Asian & Asian American
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780345816832
    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price
    $32.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780345816849
    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price
    $22.00

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Description

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.

About the author

Awards

  • Winner, British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
  • Short-listed, Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing
  • Winner, Ontario Historical Society Huguenot Society of Canada Award
  • Nominated, OLA Evergreen Award
  • Short-listed, Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award - Nonfiction

Contributor Notes

CAROL OFF is the host of CBC Radio's As It Happens, the network's flagship evening radio program. She has extensive radio and television experience covering stories in Canada and around the world. Off reported the fallout from the 9/11 disasters with news features and documentaries from New York, Washington, London, Cairo and Afghanistan. She has won numerous awards and accolades for her CBC documentaries in North America, Asia, and Europe, and is the author of three previous books, most recently, Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World's Most Seductive Sweet, which was a finalist for the National Business Book Award and nominated for the prestigious Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing. She lives in Toronto.

Editorial Reviews

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 Award for Non-fiction
Finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
“With clear, page-turning prose, Off embarks on a rigorous and honest examination of her role in the family’s fate, first as a journalist, but ultimately as a friend, when she crosses the line of dispassionate reportage and becomes deeply involved in their bid to reach Canada. The book is an insightful contemplation of journalism’s mission, and its impact on the lives of the people who dare to speak out in the name of truth.” —2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction jury (Susan Harada, Arno Kopecky and Siobhan Roberts)
“[C]aptivating prose and painful honesty. . . . Off has pulled off the veil and ignited a conversation about the moral obligation of journalists in the field.” —Winnipeg Free Press
 
“[Off] deftly weaves together a taut narrative that shuttles from a history of politics in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan to episodes as a foreign correspondent covering Canadian forces in Kandahar. . . . Throughout the book, Off struggles with the moral imperative behind her profession. . . . The journalist’s best day may be someone else’s worst. . . . All We Leave Behind is a fascinating tale about how one reporter’s request turns an extraordinary family’s life upside down, combined with a cogent examination of her own attempt to hold on to her humanity.” —Quill & Quire
 
“Off’s book reads like a thriller.” —Windsor Star
 
“[R]iveting. . . . [All We Leave Behind] is at once history lesson, political-science course, biography and scathing indictment of both Canada’s and the United Nations’s refugee programs.” —The Collection

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