Infidel: My Life

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Infidel: My Life
Ayaan vrijheid.jpg
Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Original title Mijn Vrijheid
Genre Autobiography
Publisher Free Press
Publication date
2006
Published in English
2007
Pages 368
ISBN 0-7432-9503-X
Preceded by The Caged Virgin
Followed by Nomad: From Islam to America

Infidel (2006/published in English 2007) is the autobiography of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-Dutch activist and politician. Out of consideration for the safety of the female ghostwriter, her identity is not given, as Hirsi Ali has attracted controversy.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

Hirsi Ali writes about her youth in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya; about her flight to the Netherlands where she applied for political asylum, her university experience in Leiden, her work for the Labour Party, her transfer to the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, her election to Parliament, and the murder of Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the film Submission. The book ends with a discussion of the controversy regarding her application for asylum and status of her citizenship.

Reception[edit]

Praise[edit]

The launch of the book in the Netherlands was considered a success, with the initial print run selling out in two days.[2] A review in de Volkskrant concluded that "anyone who discovers Hirsi Ali's tumultuous history can only sympathise with her".[1] The German edition of the book, Mein Leben, meine Freiheit ("My Life, My Freedom"), debuted in the top 20 of the bestseller list of Der Spiegel.[2][3]

The book was also well received upon the release of the English edition in 2007. Reviewing the book for The Sunday Times, Christopher Hitchens called it a "remarkable book."[4] Hitchens provided a foreword to the 2008 paperback edition.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum, writing in The Washington Post, said "Infidel is a unique book, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a unique writer, and both deserve to go far."[5] A review in The New York Times described the book as a "brave, inspiring and beautifully written memoir".[6] In an interview, Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria described it as "an amazing book by an amazing person".[7]

Criticism[edit]

Reporter Lorraine Ali in Newsweek magazine gave the book a negative review, claiming that the reader will feel "manipulated" by Hirsi's story. She said that "Hirsi Ali is more a hero among Islamophobes than Islamic women." She also said that Hirsi sounds as "single-minded and reactionary as the zealots she's worked so hard to oppose.".[8]

Translations[edit]

For other translations see Languages in sidebar.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b van Zijl, Frank (September 30, 2006). "De zware beproevingen van een moslimmeisje" (in Dutch). de Volkskrant. 
  2. ^ a b van Zanten, Claudia (October 3, 2006). "Boek Hirsi Ali in twee dagen uitverkocht" (in Dutch). Elsevier. 
  3. ^ Broder, Henryk (October 2, 2006). "Mohammed wird Liebe bedeuten" (in German). Der Spiegel. 
  4. ^ Christopher Hitchens (February 4, 2007). "A voice that will not be silenced". London: The Sunday Times. 
  5. ^ Anne Applebaum (February 4, 2007). "The Fight for Muslim Women". Washington Post. 
  6. ^ William Grimes (February 14, 2007). "No Rest for a Feminist Fighting Radical Islam". New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Show 308 Transcript- February 23, 2007". Foreign Exchange. February 23, 2007. 
  8. ^ Lorraine Ali (March 5, 2007). "Only One Side of the Story". Newsweek. 
  9. ^ Mein Leben, meine Freiheit. Die Autobiographie. Übersetzt von Heike Schlatterer und Anne Emmert. Piper, München 2006, ISBN 3-492-04932-X

External links[edit]

Excerpts
Reviews
Interviews on book