In her powerful new memoir, the #1 bestselling author of Infidel tells the stirring story of her search for a new life as she tries to reconcile her Islamic past with her passionate adherence to democracy and Western values. A unique blend of personal narrative and reportage, moving, engaging, wryly funny at times, Nomad gives us an inside view of her battle for equality in the face of considerable odds.

Ayaan captured the world's attention with Infidel, the eye-opening memoir of her childhood in Africa and Saudi Arabia, and her escape to Holland en route to a forced marriage in Canada. Nomad is the story of what happened after the Dutch director with whom she made a documentary about the domestic abuse of Muslim women was murdered by a radical Islamist and death threats forced her into hiding; of her bid to start a new life in America; of her renewed contact with her family on her father's death; and of her attempts to live by her adopted principles. With deep understanding, and through vivid anecdotes, and observations of people, cultures, and the political debacles that are engulfing the world, she takes us with her on an illuminating, unforgettable journey.

From the Hardcover edition.
  • Knopf Canada; May 2010
  • ISBN: 9780307398529
  • Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
  • Title: Nomad
  • Author: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • Imprint: Knopf Canada

In The Press


“Here is the story of a young African woman, born into Islam, who was given every possible occasion to feel grievance, resentment and humiliation yet who has employed her own life as an example of internationalism, tolerance, multiculturalism and the redemption of others. Her humor and irony and fortitude constitute the finest counterpoint to the surly cult of death that presses itself against us. For me, the three most beautiful words in the emerging language of secular resistance to tyranny are Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”
— Christopher Hitchens
“There is more wisdom and compassion in this book than can be found in most university libraries — and surely more than has been published in the Muslim world since the time of the Prophet. I can think of no one who better exemplifies the hard-won gains of the Enlightenment or who can speak more effectively in their defense, than Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Nomad is both a moving account of her personal journey out of bondage, and [a] trumpet blast to awaken Westerners at all points along the political spectrum: there is a war of ideas that must be waged and won in the Muslim world, and we misunderstand the true tenets of Islam at our peril. Hirsi Ali’s voice and example are simply indispensable. There is no one like her — and we need thousands like her.”
— Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation
“This moving account by a remarkably brave woman of her personal journey from the pre-modern mindset of nomadic Somali society to a modern Western one provides a searing indictment of the cult of ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘diversity’ which are disabling other Muslims in the West from making a similar transition, and making their youth turn to radical Islam and becoming ‘jihadis.’ More than many academic tomes this personal memoir provides a cogent account of how and why Islam poses the gravest threat to Western liberal societies.”
— Deepak Lal, author of In Praise of Empires

“A brilliant introduction to the dynamics of Muslim families in the West. . . . Hirsi Ali is a compelling writer who is neither strident nor shrill. Her life story is a triumph of the human spirit.”
— Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail
“Hirsi Ali is a gifted storyteller, and Nomad’s vignettes are precise and evocative and they often underscore strong socio-political arguments.”
— Winnipeg Free Press
“Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is still only in her later 30s, has already ensured her place in history and is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable people in the world.”
— Theodore Dalrymple, The Globe and Mail
“If Infidel was her wake-up call to the West, Nomad is her battle cry. . . . It would be a mistake to dismiss Hirsi Ali’s passionately argued ideas.”
— Elle (US)
“I am on Hirsi Ali’s side. . .  Nomad circles round and round the incidents, people and themes of her life. . . . She writes movingly about her [family]. . . . Her explicit and insistent belief — that Islamic societies enforce the closing of the Muslim mind to the detriment of living standards, personal development and peace — is her driving force.”
— John Lloyd, Financial Times

From the Hardcover edition.

About The Author

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, author of The Caged Virgin and the bestselling Infidel, was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" in 2005, and Reader's Digest "European of the Year." She received Norway's Human Rights Service Bellwether of the Year Award, the Danish Freedom Prize, the Swedish Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for Commitment to Conflict Resolution, Ethics, and World Citizenship. Born in Somalia, raised Muslim, she fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape a forced marriage to an elderly cousin she had never met who lived in Canada. She learned Dutch, earned her college degree in political science, and worked for the Dutch Labor party, serving as a Dutch parliamentarian. She denounced Islam after the September 11 attacks, speaking out for the rights of Muslim women, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West. Since the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by an Islamic fanatic she has lived under constant threat for her outspoken beliefs.

From the Hardcover edition.