Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is a celebrated author and human rights activist whose New York Times best-selling book, "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," recounts his time as a child soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone.
Beah’s most recent book, "Radiance of Tomorrow," published in 2014, has received positive reviews by The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, and Boston Globe. Beah is also an engaged humanitarian involved in issues surrounding children in warzones.
Beah’s "A Long Way Gone" has been published in over 40 languages and was nominated for a Quill Award in the Best Debut Author category for 2007. TIME Magazine named the book as one of the "Top 10 Nonfiction books of 2007," ranking at number 3.
"Radiance of Tomorrow" is a novel about returning home to a civil war ravaged town, and is said to be “written with the moral urgency of a parable and the searing precision of a firsthand account.” Already available in several foreign languages, the New York Times finds in his writing an “allegorical richness” and a “remarkable humanity to his characters.”
Beah’s work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, TIME magazine, International Herald Tribune, Globe & Mail, Rutgers University Press, Vespertine Press, LIT, The Guardian, Parabola Magazines, and numerous academic journals.
Also a committed humanitarian, Beah is actively involved with issues of which he himself has first hand experience. Beah was named UNICEF’s first Goodwill Advocate for Children Affected by War in 2007 and is also as a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee. In 2008, he co-founded the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW) with a mission to raise awareness of the plight of children in conflict zones, advocate for an end to hostilities, and provide role models for children who are struggling to recover from war.