The New York Times - Notable Books of 2013

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A House in the Sky (2013)

Written by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

The dramatic and redemptive memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity—an exquisitely written story of courage, resilience, and grace

As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, Alberta, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured.

Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity. (Copyright © Scribner/Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Amanda Lindhout is an award-winning humanitarian, social activist, public speaker and writer, as well as the Founder and former Executive Director of the Global Enrichment Foundation.

A woman whose compassion and determination are a powerful portrait of the strength of the human spirit, she founded the Global Enrichment Foundation to empower, educate and provide aid in the very country where she lost her freedom. Amanda’s trajectory as a woman of unique resilience, vision and action has made her an inspiring example of how one person can enact positive change on a worldwide scale. In 2012, the Women’s Executive Network named Amanda one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Her memoir,  A House in the Sky, co-written with New York Times contributing writer Sara Corbett, is the story of a young woman aspiring to live a significant life. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth”, where she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Sara Corbett is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. Her work has also appeared in National Geographic; Elle; Outside; O, The Oprah Magazine; Esquire; and Mother Jones.

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