Between Everything and Nothing: The Journey of Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal and the Quest for Asylum (Hardcover)
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, this harrowing true story of two young men from Ghana and their quest for asylum highlights not only the unjust political system of their homeland, but the chaos of the United States' failing immigration system.
Long before their chance meeting at a Minneapolis bus station, Ghanaian asylum seekers Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal had already crossed half the world in search of a new home. Seidu, who identifies as bisexual, lived under constant threat of exposure and violence in a country where same-sex acts are illegal. Razak's life was also threatened after corrupt officials contrived to steal his rightful inheritance.
Forced to flee their homeland, both men embarked on separate odysseys through the dangerous jungles and bureaucracies of South, Central, and North America. Like generations of asylum seekers before, they presented themselves legally at the U.S. border, hoping for sanctuary. Instead they were imprisoned in private detention facilities, released only after their asylum pleas were denied. Fearful of returning to Ghana, Seidu and Razak saw no choice but to attempt one final border crossing. Their journey north to Canada in the harsh, unforgiving winter proved more tragic than anything they had experienced before.
Based on extensive interviews, Joe Meno's intimate, novelistic account builds upon the international media attention Seidu and Razak's story has already received, highlighting the harrowing journey of asylum seekers everywhere while adding dimension to one of the greatest humanitarian concerns facing the world.
About the Author
JOE MENO is a fiction writer and journalist who lives in Chicago. He is the winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Great Lakes Book Award and was a finalist for the Story Prize. The bestselling author of seven novels and two short story collections, including Marvel and a Wonder, The Boy Detective Fails, and Hairstyles of the Damned, he is a professor in the English and creative writing department at Columbia College Chicago. Find out more at joemeno.com.