Join us in celebrating the paperback release of The Last Nomad with Shugri Said Salh. We are thrilled to be welcoming her back for this magnificent tale – this time in-person in Petaluma!
Shugri will be in conversation with Devi Laskar.
This is a free event. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A and a book signing.
Masks required for in-store events.
A remarkable and inspiring true story that "stuns with raw beauty" about one woman's resilience, her courageous journey to America, and her family's lost way of life.
Winner of the 2022 Gold Nautilus Award, Multicultural & Indigenous Category
Born in Somalia, a spare daughter in a large family, Shugri Said Salh was sent at age six to live with her nomadic grandmother in the desert. The last of her family to learn this once-common way of life, Salh found herself chasing warthogs, climbing termite hills, herding goats, and moving constantly in search of water and grazing lands with her nomadic family. For Salh, though the desert was a harsh place threatened by drought, predators, and enemy clans, it also held beauty, innovation, centuries of tradition, and a way for a young Sufi girl to learn courage and independence from a fearless group of relatives. Salh grew to love the freedom of roaming with her animals and the powerful feeling of community found in nomadic rituals and the oral storytelling of her ancestors.
As she came of age, though, both she and her beloved Somalia were forced to confront change, violence, and instability. Salh writes with engaging frankness and a fierce feminism of trying to break free of the patriarchal beliefs of her culture, of her forced female genital mutilation, of the loss of her mother, and of her growing need for independence. Taken from the desert by her strict father and then displaced along with millions of others by the Somali Civil War, Salh fled first to a refugee camp on the Kenyan border and ultimately to North America to learn yet another way of life.
Readers will fall in love with Salh on the page as she tells her inspiring story about leaving Africa, learning English, finding love, and embracing a new horizon for herself and her family. Honest and tender, The Last Nomadis a riveting coming-of-age story of resilience, survival, and the shifting definitions of home.
Author: Shugri Said Salh was born in the Somali desert. In 1992, she immigrated to North America after civil war broke out in her home country. She attended nursing school at Pacific Union College and graduated with honors. Although this is her first book, Salh has been storytelling since she could talk. From her grandmother and the nomadic community in which she was raised, she heard stories and learned of their power to entertain, teach, and transform. When she isn't writing or telling stories, she works as an infusion nurse. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and three children.
Devi S. Laskar is the author of The Atlas of Reds and Blues, winner of 7th annual Crook’s Corner Book Prize (2020) for best debut novel set in the South, winner of the 2020 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (selected by APALA); selected by The Georgia Center for the Book as a 2019 book “All Georgians Should Read,” finalist for the 2020 Northern California Book Award. The novel was named by The Washington Post as one of the 50 best books of 2019, and has garnered praise in Booklist, Chicago Review of Books, The Guardian and elsewhere. Laskar's second novel, CIRCA, was published on May 3, 2022, by Mariner Books. Her third novel, MIDNIGHT, AT THE WAR, will be published by Mariner Books in early 2024. Laskar holds degrees from Columbia University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a poet, photographer and former newspaper reporter and now lives in Northern California.