The Translator Book Reviews

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quoteIn his moving memoir, The Translator, Daoud Hari illuminates the complexities of the conflict [in Darfur]..., but his book's modest scope is perhaps its greatest strength. In its intimacy, quiet humor and compassion, The Translator is more like a conversation with a friend than a call to action. The plight of someone close to you can pierce you, and Hari keeps his readers close.quote

Los Angeles Times

quotePure, candid, and deeply moving...shares many qualities that have made books like Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl... inspiring. ... Though he takes us to hell and back, he never loses his ability to see the bright side of life...quote

New York Post

quoteThere are times when a thing of beauty lifts itself from the most horrific circumstances--and so it is with this new memoir... [It is] an uncommon glimpse of the preciousness of life.quote

Go Magazine

quoteI intend no impertinence when I say that some secular books--certainly this one--are also a form of Holy Communion... The Translator consecrates as much as it horrifies....quote

John Leonard, Harper's Magazine

quoteThis is a book every American should read. In the spirit of courage and a desire to protect his people, Hari has written and emotional yet gentle memoir...quote

Deseret Morning News

quoteFor an insider's stunning account of Sudan's human tragedy, turn to The Translator.quote

St. Petersburg Times

quoteHari continues to advocate for the people of Darfur with a sweetness and humanity that is vastly more compelling than the Sudan government's argument of bullets and bombs.quote


quoteThe Translator, by Daoud Hari, a native Darfurian, may be the biggest small book of this year, or any year. In roughly 200 pages of simple, lucid prose, it lays open the Darfur genocide more intimately and powerfully than do a dozen books by journalists or academic experts. Hari and his co-writers achieve this in a voice that is restrained, generous, gentle and—astonishingly—humorous.quote

Washington Post Book World

quote'Unique,' a word avoided by most journalists, is just the first to describe this heart-stopping memoir, written by a native Darfuri translator . . . Throughout, Hari demonstrates almost incomprehensible decency; those with the courage to join Hari's odyssey may find this a life-changing read.quote

Publisher's Weekly [starred review]

quoteMercifully, Hari's optimistic outlook and belief in the goodness of mankind — despite the many times when heavily armed people seem hell-bent on disproving that belief — leaven what could have been a very bleak book.quote

Entertainment Weekly

quoteDespite the horrors, Hari's tone is often gentle and sweet. He retains his survivor's instinct to move on and better himself. With the help of American activists, Hari recently gained refugee status in the United States. He says he's glad to be here, though he still seems somewhat lost in this strange new country. He yearns for the day when it will be safe to return home to Darfur, the ravaged place he knows best.quote

— Jeff Bartholet, Newsweek

quoteHarrowing but hopeful account of the genocide in Sudan, as told by one of the courageous locals who make it possible for a stubborn cadre of journalists to bring word of the atrocities to the outside world… The narrative displays a light touch befitting the author’s friendly disposition; even near the end, when he describes a frightening period of torture and imprisonment, he remains the kind of man who wants to look for the good in everybody… A book of unusually humane power and astounding moral clarity: evenhanded but pointing a reproachful finger at all the right targets.quote

Kirkus Reviews [starred review]

The Translator by Daoud Hari