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Ishmael Beah Still Sticks by His Memoir

ishmael-beah-apphoto.jpgFollowing up on last week’s flurry of stories about the Australian articles challenging the veracity of Ishmael Beah‘s A Long Way Gone, Hillel Italie scores Beah’s “first extended comments” on the situation, which aren’t that much different than the statement he issued ten days ago.

“I have tried to think deeply about this,” Beah tells Italie about the dispute over whether a battle he describes in his memoir occurred in 1993 or 1995, “and my memory only gives me 1993 and nothing more. And that’s what I stand by.” Italie suggests, politely, that between the chaos of Sierra Leone and the imperfections of memoir writing in general, we’ll never “know” for sure, but the subtextual implication appears to be that all these questions about dates and accuracy might miss the point of the powerful story Beah has told while trying to make sense of his own experiences.

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