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Publisher's Summary

An engrossing memoir of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States

When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States.

Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore's early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Moore has a novelist's eye for suspense and emotional depth, and this unforgettable memoir is full of imaginative, lyrical flights and lush prose. In capturing both the hazy magic and the stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.

©2020 Wayétu Moore (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Tovah Ott's supple and expressive tone is well suited to author Wayétu Moore's lyrical writing on her family's history in Liberia and the U.S.… Ott carries listeners through the family's many trials as they struggle to settle in America, including Moore's growing recognition of the effect of racism upon her identity." --AudioFile Magazine

"Ott’s extensive experience certainly explains her agile character transitions…. From disoriented young children to harried adults, rebel fighters to refugees, and an anxious mother and searching daughter, Ott shifts readily, creating diverse personas." --Booklist

“Immersive, exhilarating.... This memoir adds an essential voice to the genre of migrant literature, challenging false popular narratives that migration is optional, permanent and always results in a better life.” --The New York Times Book Review 

What listeners say about The Dragons, the Giant, the Women

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A Riveting and Powerful Memoir

The Dragon The Giant The Women encapsulates some of life’s most solemn issues: war, racism, migration, love, psychological issues, the power of hope and prayer, and then some. Wayétu shared with us a first-hand account of the war in Liberia. Skillfully she shifted gears as she recanted events from a child’s perspective and then to the realism of an adult. Wayétu educated us, giving us just bits of Liberia’s rich culture – tribes, language, folk tales, and tribal remedies. Although the story was filled with how hateful we as humans can be against each other, there was a more powerful narrative that reigned from cover to cover – one of love, strength, support, community, hope, and prayer. Her ability in her early years to pull from her ancestral gift of storytelling to vividly juxtapose who, The Dragon The Giants The Women all were. I especially admired Ma and Satta’s strength and tenacity – unwavering in their decisions.

What great lengths would you go for love and family?

Memoir Junkie - AuthorAnnaBella

1 person found this helpful

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A Mother's Love and Endurance

A touching story of on woman's strive to be independent and powerful, of the need to advance herself and her education, while struggling to protect and be reunited with her family. #TheWomen

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Lyricism didn't translate to audio

I was really looking forward to this book but just didn't enjoy it. Even as an avid reader/listener, I felt confused about shifts in timeline/perspective/location and about characters. (It took me until mid-book to realize both her father and grandfather were escaping with her.) Maybe I would have enjoyed it more in print.

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Vivid and Compelling Story

I loved this book. the intertwining narratives were very compelling and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved hearing the "voices" of the generations of women as they grew and experienced the world.

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WOW

The story and the narrator easily capture a child's innocence during a crisis. The strength of love during war and the faith that threaded this family together through it all. The author uses underling themes of food, language, and culture to explain the differences between Africa and America. And the narrator is eloquent in honoring each of the aspects in her own unique way. Well Done! CB