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Father of the Lost Boys

Written by Yuot A. Alaak


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During the Second Sudanese Civil War, thousands of South Sudanese boys were displaced from their villages or orphaned in attacks from northern government troops. Many became refugees in Ethiopia. There, in 1989, teacher and community leader Mecak Ajang Alaak assumed care of the Lost Boys in a bid to protect them from becoming child soldiers. So began a four-year journey from Ethiopia to Sudan and on to the safety of a Kenyan refugee camp. Together they endured starvation, animal attacks and the horrors of landmines and aerial bombardment. This eyewitness account by Mecak Ajang Alaak’s son, Yuot, is the extraordinary true story of a man who never ceased to believe that the pen is mightier than the gun.


‘This valuable book deserves a global audience and will be a disquieting read for those of privilege; this country is a better place for it having been published.’ Books+Publishing

‘This memoir is a life-affirming story which proves yet again that so many refugees have courage and initiative thatquite apart from any humanitarian motivesshow how much the forunate West has to gain in opening its doors.’ ANZ LitLovers

‘… this is not a story of sadness, but of a family’s triumph; of love, loyalty and choosing the power of the pen over the power of the gun.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘… it is a jaw-dropping memoir, punctuated by inconceivable tragedy but underpinned throughout by the powerful hope that kept them moving.’ Weekend West

‘This is an important story.’ Magpies

Western Australian Premier’s Book Award (Shortlisted 2020)
NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Shortlisted 2021)
City of Fremantle Hungerford Award (Shortlisted 2018)

Pages: 144
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: Fremantle Press
ISBN: 9781925815641
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Yuot A. Alaak

Yuot A. Alaak is an emerging Western Australian writer whose short story ‘The Lost Girl of Pajomba’ was anthologised by Margaret River Press in Ways of Being Here. He has appeared twice at Perth Writers Festival and his memoir, Father of the Lost Boys, was shortlisted for the 2018 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award and […]