The Caged Virgin
Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
| 4.2/5 |
| Ayaan Hirsi Ali books, Autobiographies, Islam books|
Infidel (2006/published in English 2007) is the autobiography of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-Dutch activist and politician. Hirsi Ali has attracted controversy and death threats were made against Ali in the early 2000s.
Infidel: My Life Wikipedia
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.
The launch of the book in the Netherlands was considered a success, with the initial print run selling out in two days. A review in de Volkskrant concluded that "anyone who discovers Hirsi Ali's tumultuous history can only sympathise with her". 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.
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." Hitchens provided a foreword to the 2008 paperback edition.
The 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." A review in The New York Times described the book as a "brave, inspiring and beautifully written memoir". In an interview, Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria described it as "an amazing book by an amazing person".
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.".German, see also German page about Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
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