WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE
WINNER OF IRISH BOOK OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE
‘The most important work of contemporary reporting I have ever read’ SALLY ROONEY
The treatment of refugees has become one of the most devastating human rights disasters in our history. In this book, award-winning journalist Sally Hayden unfolds a staggering investigation into the migrant crisis across North Africa.
This book follows the experiences of refugees, telling a range of shocking and eye-opening human stories. But it also surveys the bigger picture: the negligence of NGOs and corruption within the United Nations. The economics of the twenty-first-century slave trade and the EU’s bankrolling of Libyan militias. The trials of people smugglers, the frustrations of aid workers, the loopholes refugees seek out and the role of social media in crowdfunding ransoms. Who was accountable for the abuse? Where were the people finding solutions? Why wasn’t it being widely reported?
At its heart, this is a book about people who have made unimaginable choices, risking everything to survive in a system that wants them to be silent and disappear.
Sally Hayden is an award-winning journalist and photographer focused on migration, conflict and humanitarian crises.Her first book, My Fourth Time, We Drowned, won the 2022 Orwell Prize, Michel Deon Prize, Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the Irish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford.She is currently the Africa correspondent for the Irish Times, and has also worked with VICE News, CNN International, the Financial Times, TIME, BBC, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New York Times, Channel 4 News, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera and Newsweek, among others.A law graduate with an MSc in international politics, she has twice sat on the committee deciding the winner of Transparency International\'s Anti-Corruption Award. In 2019, she was included on the Forbes \'30 Under 30\' list of media in Europe.
‘Journalism of the most urgent kind’Financial Times -
‘[A] devastating, moving and damning account of one of the tragedies of our age … Hayden never flinches in documenting human nature at its worst - its best is shown here, too’Irish Independent -
‘The most important work of contemporary reporting I have ever read … I hope that Sally Hayden's work can help to begin a radically new and overdue discussion about Europe's approach to migration and borders’Sally Rooney -
‘What a devastating book about the catastrophic inhumanity of European migration policy. It’s a journalistic masterpiece. Shattering stories. It absolutely demands to be read … Essential’Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers -
‘Extremely good’Mark O’Connell, author of Notes from an Apocalypse -
‘Compassionate, brave, enraging, beautifully written and incredibly well researched. Hayden exposes the truth’Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland -
‘One of the most important testaments of this awful time in life's history. It is both heartbreaking and stoic. I cry reading any page of it. Sally Hayden is a young and brilliant journalist’Edna O'Brien, author of The Little Red Chairs -
‘Quite simply, an unexpected tour de force … deserves critical acclaim and a wide readership … I found this book unputtdownable’Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer at The New Yorker -
‘This vivid chronicle … may make you cry, but it should make you angry … A blistering rebuke’Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor of Channel 4 News -
‘A veritable masterclass in journalism … The most riveting, detailed and damning account ever written on the deadliest of migration routes’Christina Lamb, Chief Foreign Correspondent of the Sunday Times -
‘Heart-stopping … A vital book for anyone who wants to feel what it means to be human in the 21st century’Fintan O’Toole, author of We Don’t Know Ourselves -