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  • Published: 1 August 2016
  • ISBN: 9780399576010
  • Imprint: Riverhead
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah



In Walking with Abel, she embeds herself with a family of Fulani cowboys—nomadic herders in Mali’s Sahel grasslands—as they embark on their annual migration across the savanna.

Anna Badkhen has forged a career chronicling life in extremis around the world, from war-torn Afghanistan to the border regions of the American Southwest. In Walking with Abel, she embeds herself with a family of Fulani cowboys—nomadic herders in Mali’s Sahel grasslands—as they embark on their annual migration across the savanna. It’s a cycle that connects the Fulani to their past even as their present is increasingly under threat—from Islamic militants, climate change, and the ever-encroaching urbanization that lures away their young. The Fulani, though, are no strangers to uncertainty—brilliantly resourceful and resilient, they’ve contended with famines, droughts, and wars for centuries.

Dubbed “Anna Ba” by the nomads, who embrace her as one of theirs, Badkhen narrates the Fulani’s journeys and her own with compassion and keen observation, transporting us from the Neolithic Sahara crisscrossed by rivers and abundant with wildlife to obelisk forests where the Fulani’s Stone Age ancestors painted tributes to cattle. As they cross the Sahel, the savanna belt that stretches from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, they accompany themselves with Fulani music they download to their cell phones and tales of herders and hustlers, griots and holy men, infused with the myths the Fulani tell themselves to ground their past, make sense of their identity, and safeguard their—our—future.

  • Published: 1 August 2016
  • ISBN: 9780399576010
  • Imprint: Riverhead
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $26.99
Categories:

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Praise for Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah

Badkhen’s rich and lucid prose illustrates her journey as vividly as might a series of photographs . . . By the time readers put the book down, they will have done something remarkable: visited a mostly inhospitable but eminently seductive locale alongside a storyteller able to render the strange and different both familiar and engrossing. Walking With Abel not only takes us somewhere new, it viscerally reminds us that such places still exist in the world

Christian Science Monitor

Fascinating . . . highly ambitious and deeply profound

Los Angeles Times

Lyrical [and] meditative . . . [a] tender tribute to a people deeply rooted in the land

Boston Globe

Displays the skill of a writer accustomed to telling the stories of those living unimaginable lives

Ms. Magazine

[Badkhen] who was given the Fulani name Anna Bâ, describes all in graceful prose, word paintings that approach poetry . . . nearly perfect

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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