Imali J. Abala

When the author of “Fragmented Lives,” Imali J. Abala reads excerpts from her book at the New Americans Book Fair on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 5590 Karl Road, Columbus, Ohio beginning at 12pm, it is expected to resonate some nostalgic feelings among many new African immigrants who will be at the fair.

In this semi-autobiographical novel, Imali J. Abala tells an unforgettable story of Mary Upanga, a young Kenyan woman’s journey to USA for her studies and her ensuing hardships.

As a naïve Logooli girl, Mary is ill-prepared for life outside her rural setting of Kerongo. She must not only confront culture shock, but also racial discrimination, which shatters her sensibilities.

That is not all.  With her social security card stamped “BEARER NOT PERMITTED TO WORK,” she struggles to find employment to support herself.

Later, she is forced to take on odd jobs as threats of deportation and eviction from her flat become a looming reality. It does not take her long to realize that there is more to life in America than she imagined.

She is not alone.

A sea of other new African immigrants faces similar fates. Tales of young men who perish, unable to cope with their new reality, threaten her quest and dreams for success. 

In this land of the free, Mary lives a fragmented life. Will she survive or succumb to the challenges of life as new African immigrant to American soil?

The book tells the full story.

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