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Slave: My True Story

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  4,044 ratings  ·  375 reviews
Mende Nazer lost her childhood at age twelve, when she was sold into slavery. It all began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, murdering the adults and rounding up thirty-one children, including Mende.

Mende was sold to a wealthy Arab family who lived in Sudan's capital city, Khartoum. So began her dark years of enslavement. Her Ar
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 27th 2005 by PublicAffairs (first published 2002)
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This was a very difficult, though very worthwhile, book to read. It took me many, many, months to get through because the subject is so intense and often extremely disturbing.

That said, I am grateful for what Nazer has shared in this work. It was truly an eye opener. There remains much injustice in the world and books like this can help us to reveal those injustices so that we can take action to end them.
Sep 08, 2011 Magdelanye rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, especially the guilty
Recommended to Magdelanye by: cover
Something about the dignity and courage of Mende Nazar as she recounts her appalling story grabs hold of your heart, allowing you to read on when it is almost unbearable.
Mende is calm and unflinching as she simply recounts the events that shattered her world,a remote Nubian village in the Sudan. She gives a vivid description of her community and her life as an adored and coddled child of a loving family. This comes to an abrubt and violent end when the village is attacked and burned by Arab rai
An amazing book. Everyone should read this book! We live in a country of great freedom that we take for granted. My heart goes out to Mende.
Tanya Patrice
What a book - I cried and my heart broke. The language of the book is easy and simplistic. The story is told, with no literary embellishments and in the author's own voice - she is not a writer and so there is a matter of fact style (it was told to Damien Lewis, a journalist who helped Mende during her escape and who penned the book, but I'm glad he kept it simple). The book has 2 halves. The first is about Mende's life growing up in a small village in the Nuba mountains of Sudan; and then life ...more
Keren Threlfall
Slave is the true story of Mende Nazer, a Sudanese woman whose childhood ended when she was captured and enslaved around age 12. One thing that made Mende’s story particularly stand out to me is that we are about the same age. Her slavery did not take place in the huts and villages of Sudan, but in the relatively modern city of Khartoum, where her well-to-do captors had most of the modern conveniences that we do (electricity, washer/dryer, stove/oven, etc).

In this book, Mende recounts the story
sam sam blank
Mende's story is an amazing story that will not only captivate your mind, but also clench your heart. As a avid reader of non fiction books, this is the type of book that keeps my interest at peak! This story was told exceptionally well, with the help of, Damien, it allows the reader to develop a vivid mental picture of Mendes experience. I could almost taste and smell her surroundings. It touches on some unbelievable rituals and horrendous violations that continue till this day. Mende still mai ...more
When I read other reviews of this book I knew I had to read it. Living in America all my life I couldn't imagine that there is still slavery going on in the world, just that it happened many generations ago (that is something that we were taught in school). How could this still be going on??
I LOVED this book, it goes threw Mende's life from the beginning to she was abducted and sold into slavery and how she finally broke free from all the abuse and even how it still affects her
Liz Butler
This is an amazing autobiographical book about a girl ripped from her family at the tender age of 12 and sold into modern day slavery. It is mind boggling, gut wrenching and heart breaking. Yet, it is impossible to put down!

You can't help but love this girl and feel hopeless every step of the way. My heart ached during each episode of abuse and humiliation she encountered throughout her years as a slave. And I found myself becoming very frustrated and angry with her abusers, to the point of que
Mari Anne
Wow! Finally a memoir that lived up to its title! Powerful, shocking, heartbreaking... amazing. This story of a young Sudanese girl ripped from her family and sold into slavery sounds like a story from the 1800's but shockingly this happened in 1993! The story of Mende Nazer is a modern day horror story; not one of an era we had thought (and hoped) was gone for good.

This memoir is well written and fascinating. The beginning of the book does a great job of setting the scene and showing us Mende'
2004- Most of us associate slavery with the days of the American Civil War. Yet, in many parts of the world today, slavery isn't dead. In this novel, we meet Mende, a young Sudanese tribal girl growing up happily with her family. The first third of the book explores Mende's childhood among her tribe, the Karko of the Nuba Mountains. Then one night, everything changes. Her village is attacked by Arab raiders. Huts are torched, men killed, women raped and children rounded up to be sold off later a ...more
Slave is the true story of a young Sudanese girl kidnapped at an early age and take into slavery. I couldn't put the book down. Her simple life as a child, the love and support she had from her family, especially her father was very heartwarming and I learned a lot about the rural life in the Sudan - its simplicity, its hardships (walking miles for water), its family and community commitment etc.

Mende's slavery and captivity as an unpaid servant was very shocking to me. I knew of slavery in the
Mende's story - from a peaceful childhood surrounded by family and friends, to being torn away and forced to live the life of a slave, someone who barely deserves a name (according to her "master"), it's all so hard to believe that this is what is happening in these modern times! But oh, "slave" doesn't begin to describe her. She is questly dignified, she has a rich history and fond memories and I am so very glad she was brave enough to find freedom and have her story told.

One can only hope for
this book really moved me. it is the account of a woman from Sudan who was sold into slavery at the age of 12. she remained a slave until she escaped in london when she was in her twenties. what made this book so powerful is that she describes not only the pain of being a slave, but also her life with her family prior to the attack on her village where she is stolen. there is a graphic account of genital circumcision that made me cringe. i can't imagine going through such a thing. i recommend th ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
First, I feel like a real shit for only giving this 3.5 stars. In my defense, it's because there wasn't ENOUGH book for me. Mende tells of at least 7+ years kept as a slave in about 150 pages. I didn't necessarily need graphic details, but I did want to get to know her more, see her strength, know how she developed her survival instincts, etc. Unfortunately the most horrific scene contained in this novel (other than the village raid and kidnapping) is the mutilation she endured during her female ...more
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
At age twelve, Mende Nazer was stolen by Arab raiders from her family and sold as a slave to a family in Khartoum. When did this happen, in the nineteenth century? Last century? In the dark ages?

1993. And this was a girl who could read and write, who was attending school and hoped to become a doctor some day. It seems nearly impossible, yet it happened. She was isolated and afraid; had no place to go for help and no confidence that help would come even if she tried.

I am convinced that the only w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2009 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to learn about slavery in modern times
Recommended to Heather by: Tawana Bens
Tawana recommended this book to me--I have so many books on my shelves already labeled "to-read" that I almost didn't read it! So glad I did! You can guess from the subject matter that the tale is pretty heart-wrenching at times. What was most profound for me is the copyright date. 2003. I had to keep stopping and looking at it to remind myself that this isn't a tale of the slave trade that once was, it's a vivid account of something happening right now. Maybe I'm just out of it. I guess I know ...more
Mende Nazer has authored a autobiographical challenge to the notion that slavery is dead. From the Nuba tribe of Southern Sudan, Mende tells the story of her idyllic childhood growing up in a family that loved her and surrounded her with the security of tribal family also. Her childhood innocence, however, was shattered the night Arab raiders swept through her village and pillaged raped and murdered ... and collected many of the young children of the village to be taken to Khartoum to be sold as ...more
Mocha Girl

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars Slavery Still Exists!!, January 29, 2004

In Slave: My True Story, Mende Nazer's spirit echoes that of Sojourner Truth's during her journey from slave to freedom fighter. The singular difference in their heroic efforts is the span of more than a century. One would like to believe that humanity would choose to eradicate slavery everywhere, but Nazer is living proof that the horrific institution is thriving in the new millennium.
I listened to the audiobook version, read by Adjoa Andoh. Slave tells of Mende's childhood in Sudan, a mostly idyllic life until, aged twelve, she was torn from her family in the middle of the night by Arab raiders who kidnapped many children to sell them into slavery. Mende was sent to a wealthy household in Khartoum where she was subject to cruelty, psychological abuse and regular beatings. This is a recent story which makes it all the more shocking. It is a hard story to hear because of its s ...more
Different than a news report from a country across the world, this is a first-person narrative of a little girl's shattered dreams and broken heart. While the violence and hatred she faced were difficult to read, more painful for me was her longing for affection and human contact throughout her captivity. I found the ending unsatisfying, in that her post-captivity life is not fully described - so, yeah, I didn't get the happily-ever-after I needed for this sweet girl!

I was also bothered that her
This book was emotionally exhausting! Although I couldn't put it down, this girl's life story was gut wrenching. The author, Mende Nazer, was kidnapped from her rustic village as a young girl and sold into slavery. Not only did she work as a slave in Africa, but she also endured slavery in the UK... IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY! Thank goodness that her wretched story of slavery came to an end, but this story opened my eyes to all the modern day slavery that still exists. Not only was this book in ...more
One of the best books I have read in a long time. A true story of a Sudenese girl who was abducted at the age of 12, sold and lived as a "slave" up until her escape when she was 19.

A truly harrowing account of determination and endurance and last but not least survival. Uplifts the human spirit, creates awareness of the atrocities still happening in the Sudan even now and embraces a young girl who went from living a simple happy tribal life to being thrown onto a hellish rollercoaster ride until
The more you read from this book, the more you really wish that there was a way of tracking down the slave trader who stole Mende and the other children from their Nuba village and then putting a bullet through his tiny, stone-like heart — and then finding Mende’s former “master” and doing the same to her.

We can read about modern-day slavery from experts like Kevin Bales, but reading a first hand account by someone who has actually endured enslavement in this day and age is another experience al
Caterious Henry
I would recommend this book to another person, author, or anyone who wants to know about slavery or what life was like to be a slave, or even learn about what it was like and how people got through it and survived. This book grabbed my attention because to me it was like history. Me being an african american I would always like to learn about my culture and about the times of slavery. Furthering my knowledge about the past could help me in the future. As far as i read it was a great book. This b ...more
Rose Nelson
This book was very painful to read at times. I literally had to put it down just to process what I was reading. At times, I was very angry and wanted to jump in the book and strangle the slave holders. The cruelty of one human to another never seems to amaze me. Although this book was very emotional for me to read, I am inspired by the strength and perseverance of the main character, Mende Nazer. My life has been a cake walk compared to all she endured. I highly recommend this book.
Janet Damon
This memoir by Mende Nazer is a very nice companion read to Halima Bashir's Tears of the Desert. Both of the women describe a childhood that is very idyllic, where they are surrounded by love and family, community and deeply woven culture of respect. In their villages where homes are carefully constructed mud huts and there is no electricity or running water, there is still a different kind of wealth; peace. If you need anything your neighbor will share it with you, there is no currency and one ...more
Jodie Llewellyn
This is one of those books that makes you really think about the world. It tells the story of Mende, a girl who grew up in Sudan and was kidnapped from her tribe to become a slave.

Mende is an interesting character. As a young girl she was almost a bit of a brat, quite spoilt and outspoken. Which made it even more terrible when her childhood and innocence was stolen from her.

The writing was simplistic, but the pace moved well. This is a relatively short read considering the intense subject matter
Ovu je knjigu, zapravo, napisao engleski novinar Damien Lewis, iako je priča pisana u prvom licu. Napisana je baš na novinarski način, lišena je prevelikih emocija, bez obzira na strahotu o kojoj govori. Rekla bih, strahotama, jer se tu ne radi samo o otmici 12-godišnje djevojčice koju potom prodaju i učine robinjom, već i o drugim stvarima koje su, iako se (nažalost) podrazumijevaju i na njih se gleda kao na "kulturološke razlike" ili ne znam što već, toliko grozne i nezamislive (meni, naravno, ...more
I often find myself drawn to women's issues books. Mostly about women fighting for their rights or overcoming tragedy. When I read the premise of Slave, I was so baffled. How could this happen? How could, in this time, someone be kidnapped and sold as a slave? Mende's story is heartbreaking and infuriating. As I read on, I could hear her voice and my heart just reached out to her.
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”Mende Nazer lost her childhood at age twelve, when she was sold into slavery. It all began one horrific night in 1993, when Arab raiders swept through her Nuba village, murdering the adults and rounding up thirty-one children, including Mende.

Mende was sold to a wealthy Arab family who lived in Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum. So began her dark years of enslavement. Her Arab owners called her “Yeb
More about Mende Nazer...
Freedom: The Sequel to Slave Escrava (Histórias de Mulheres) Eve Dönüş: Sesizliğin Gözyaşları Slave

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“I have realized that for those who live in the West, freedom is so often something they take for granted. It has always been there for them. It is their unnoticed, unrecognized, constant companion and friend. But for those of us who come from countries like Sudan, freedom is wonderful and precious.” 13 likes
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