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When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before they can be reunited, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, along a dangerous road, heading for the relative safety of their remote family village. Here they will hide until a remarkable rescue by a rebel soldier who smuggles them across the border.
Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore's early childhood, her years adjusting to life in the USA as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is an unforgettable story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. In capturing both the hazy magic and the stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.
'Immersive, exhilarating... This memoir adds an essential voice to the genre of migrant literature, challenging false popular narratives that migration is optional, permanent and always results in a better life' -- New York Times
'Wayétu Moore has written an elegant, inspired, page-turning memoir I couldn't put down. Destined to become a classic!' -- Mary Karr
'A propulsive, heart-rending memoir of love and war and peace, one that marries the language of fantasy with the texture of reality, a thick, riotous beauty with the harshest, rawest pain. The Dragons, The Giant, the Women is a major contribution to the new literature of African immigration' -- Namwali Serpell, author of The Old Drift
'Absolutely breathtaking. In extraordinary prose and with remarkable restraint, Wayétu Moore has created both a riveting narrative of survival and resilience and a tribute to the fierce love between parents and children' -- Mary Laura Philpott, author of I Miss You When I Blink
'Deft and deeply human, Wayetu Moore's The Dragons, The Giant, The Women, had me pinned from its first page to its last. Its central question still spins through me: What does it mean for an adult to return for the childhood lost to civil war? Moore shows how the comforts we use to make sense of trauma-dragons for despots, giants for fathers, enemies who are only ever evil-can be the very things that keep us traumatized. This is an astonishment of a book' -- Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk
'Wayetu Moore's memoir is a moving and richly drawn tale of a family threatened by violence in '90s Liberia and their escape from it. Out of this tumultuous experience, Moore has shaped a powerful, utterly convincing, and unforgettable story' -- Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fisherman
'Wayétu Moore stretches the art of writing on family, war, and movement to mythical heights with her otherworldly poeticism. Home-or the lack thereof-is a well-trodden territory in literature, but this memoir vivifies the topic with depth and gravitas' -- Morgan Jerkins, author of Wandering in Strange Lands
'The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a beautifully written book about the experience of migrating: a story, particularly in this moment, that can never be told enough' -- Bitch Media
'A nuanced and haunting memoir' --LitHub