Ishmael Beah, born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, is the New York Times best-selling author of A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and Radiance of Tomorrow, A Novel both published by Farrar Straus & Giroux.
His Memoir 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. His novel written with the gentle lyricism of a dream and the moral clarity of a fable is a powerful book about preserving what means the most to us, even in uncertain times. Already available in several foreign languages, the New York Times finds in his writing an “allegorical richness” and a “remarkable humanity to his [Beah’s] characters”.
His 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.
He is based in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and children.
"Ishmael was amazing. Absolutely amazing. It was great to get to meet him and I still hear almost daily about how profound his visit was on our participants."- Idaho Home for Refugees
"It went very well. The student response was overwhelming, and Ishmael gave an inspiring talk. He also handled the question and answer portion with a lot of grace and humor. By any measure, it was a great success."- Community College of Baltimore County
"If only every speaker could be so gracious, inspirational, charming, cooperative, selfless, and draw a standing room only crowd! No, it was beyond standing room. We had people standing in every possible place, and people sitting on the floors, in the aisles, in front of the first row of pews, in the choir loft behind the speaker, in the church basement and other rooms with speakers, in the stairwells, and outside the doors. Needless to say, he received a well deserved standing ovation, and then proceeded to sign books and greet his fans for another hour."- University of Iowa
"We absolutely LOVED him! It was a packed house and we had to turn several hundred students away as we were about fire regulation capacity (almost 2,000 students). Our students really resonated with his message on resilience, privilege associated with education, and all he has accomplished in his lifetime already. I has been deemed the most impactful common read to date and continues to impact the UK community. Simply amazing!"- University of Kentucky
"Ishmael was such a great sport, very personable and enthusiastic even though we kept him busy. Ishmael’s visit went very, very well. Despite his visit occurring on the first day after Spring Break, many students came to hear him speak. Every seat in the room was filled. Ishmael did a great job interacting with so many, and was a huge hit with students and staff alike. "- University of Notre Dame
"Ishmael was great! The students and faculty enjoyed the event and we had a full audience. "- New York University
"The conference was awesome. Ishmael’s keynote was stellar and his work with our kids yesterday in the writers’ workshops and with the evening presentation was so, so powerful. "- Concordia International School Shanghai
"He was gracious, impactful, and our kids really connected to him."- Greenville High School
"It was great! We really enjoyed having Ishmael come and speak. He's a very nice person."- Northern Arizona University