THERE IS NO ME WITHOUT YOU
One Woman’s Odyssey To Rescue Her Country’s Children
Greene’s nuanced portrait places Haregewoin Teferra at the center of a global crisis, but never loses its focus on innocent victims. The U.N. estimates that by 2010, Africa could have 50 million children orphaned because their parents dide of a disease that can be treated by drugs readily available in different nations….Greene quotes a doctor whose colleagues compare AIDS in Africa to the Holocaust. “We will be asked by future generations, ‘What did you do to help?’” Teferra will have no trouble answering: More than my share.
A fundamental truth — heartwarming and heartbreaking — underlies this passionate narrative: Every child needs a loving parent, and every mother needs a child.
National Book award nominee Melissa Fay Greene wonderfully chronicles the true story of an Ethiopian woman who took in AIDS orphans…The life of one extraordinary caregiver in Ethiopia is used to paint a devastating portrait of the AIDS epidemic in Africa that has left some 13 million children orphaned.
Melissa Fay Greene dramatizes the epic-scale tragedy of AIDS in Africa through her flawed heroine’s human-scale experience in There Is No Me Without You. It’s a powerful story — by turns sad, politically infuriating, and inspiring — and Greene brings her formidable intelligence and eloquence to the telling.
…As with her previous books (Praying for Sheetrock; The Temple Bombing; Last Man Out), Greene takes a very close look at what appears to be the fringe of an important social event and illuminates the entire subject. Ethiopia is home to “the second-highest concentration of AIDS orphans in the world”; even as some of the orphans find happy endings in American homes, Greene keeps the urgency of the greater crisis before us in this moving, impassioned narrative.
Greene excels at the toughest of writing challenges: interweaving one woman’s life story with the big picture of a nation’s past and present struggles. We aren’t overwhelmed by the wealth of information; rather, the personal account of Haregewoin Teferra is enhanced by the additional details. At the same time, her story gives us tangible proof that one person can make a difference in the lives of many.
Unforgettable…Greene brings Africa’s AIDS catastrophe to us as bracingly as the movie Hotel Rwanda brought home the horrors of genocide.
Greene details one woman’s struggles to maintain a refuge while “the most terrible epidemic in human history was knocking…then it was banging with fists” at her door. She explores the history and politics of AIDS but stays focused on Teferra, creating a piece of journalism that’s heartbreaking but never maudlin.
…”Readers who liked “Mountains Beyond Mountains” will find Greene is a stronger storyteller than Tracy Kidder. Both struggle with the mystery of goodness, but Greene’s protagonist is not a saintly American doctor. Haregewoin Teferra is a flawed, feisty, unforgettable character of the (un)developing world……The book concludes with a unique adoption, told in an unexpected sequence of remarkable beauty and power. It left me gasping.
This searing account humanizes the statistics through heartbreaking, intimate stories of what it is like for young orphans left alone in Ethiopia.
A poignant account of an Ethiopian woman’s attempt to help the smallest victims of AIDS in the disease-ravaged country.
…a harrowing, beautiful book.