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All We Leave Behind

A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others
By: Carol Off
Narrated by: Carol Off
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
Finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-fiction
Finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

An incredible work of non-fiction that reads like a thriller, All We Leave Behind is the true story of a family fleeing the death sentence of a ruthless warlord, written by the journalist who broke all her own rules to get them to safety.  

In 2002, Carol Off and a CBC TV crew encountered an Afghan man with a story to tell. Asad Aryubwal became a key figure in their documentary on the terrible power of thuggish warlords who were working arm in arm with Americans and NATO troops. When Asad publicly exposed the deeds of one of the warlords, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, it set off a chain of events from which there was no turning back. Asad, his wife, Mobina, and their five children had to flee their home.

The family faced an uncertain future. But their dilemma compelled a journalist to cross the lines of disinterested reporting and become deeply involved. Together, they navigated the Byzantine international bureaucracy and the decidedly unwelcoming policies of Stephen Harper's government until the family finally found a new home.

Carol Off's powerful account traces not only one family's journey and fraught attempts to immigrate to a safe place; it also illustrates what happens when a journalist becomes irrevocably caught up in the lives of the people in her story and finds herself unable to leave them behind.

©2017 Carol Off (P)2017 Penguin Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

"The CBC reporter steers by her own conscience and that is to tell the story from the point of view of the powerless." ( Vancouver Sun)
"One of our country's finest and most prolific journalists.... Off's journalistic style reveals a deep humanity in the stories she tells about Canadians and people around the world." [Richard Hardacre, ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) national president]

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  • IAN
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 09-03-18

Quite a journey

I have been listening to Carol Off for years so when her book arrived I was happy to read. Her experience is vast but this account gives me more details into her reporting life and a reporters effect on her subjects. Very well done. I’ll continue anew to listen. Thanks.