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American Mother - Colum McCann

American Mother

By: Colum McCann, Diane Foley

Hardcover | 22 February 2024

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The English language has no specific word for the parent that has lost a child. There exist words for orphan, widow and widower, but there is no word that captures and conveys this tragic type of loss.

It has been eleven years since Diane Foley's son, the American journalist James Foley, was kidnapped in northern Syria, and nearly ten since that day in August 2014 when she would learn that he had been murdered by ISIS in a public beheading that would ricochet in video around the world. A whole decade. Time rushes past. And yet, for Diane, that moment is unending.

In American Mother, legendary author Colum McCann tells Diane's story as she recalls the months of his captivity, the efforts made to bring him home and the days following his death, in which Diane came face to face with one of the men responsible for her son's kidnapping and torture. A testament to the power of radical empathy and moral courage, American Mother takes us inside one woman's extraordinary journey to find connection in a world torn asunder, and to fight for others as a way to keep her son's memory alive.

About the Authors

Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. His work has been published in forty languages and has received many international honours, including a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, election to the Irish arts academy and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China and an Oscar nomination. He is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organisation, Narrative 4, and he teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. He was born in Dublin and lives in New York.

Diane Foley has a masters in nursing from the University of New Hampshire and worked as a family nurse practitioner for 18 years before becoming the founder and current president of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.

Other Editions and Formats


Published: 27th February 2024

In Stock and Aims to ship next day

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