Tinsley: 7" x 10" Hardcover
When the Stars Fall to Earth: A Novel of Africa
When the Stars Fall to Earth is a novel about five young Darfuris trying
to make sense of their changing world in a time of war. As they lose
their families and homes, they find new friends who help them rebuild
their lives. Torn free of the certainty and burdens of ancient traditions,
they each embark on a journey, hoping to find safety and a new role in
life. Along the way their personal strengths and weaknesses are revealed.
Confronting the opportunities and hazards of the modern world, they struggle
to help their people in a fight for survival against the ruthless Sudanese
Zara, Abdelatif, Rashid, Hawa, and Ahmed are born in a rural African
Muslim villages in Darfur. Their world is shattered by ethnic cleansing,
genocide, and an equally devastating weapon of war—rape. When the
Sudanese armed forces attack, each of them takes a different route on
the perilous journey to the refugee camp, where safety eludes them.
The tribal system of respect for their elders comes under pressure in
the crowded camps where frustrated young men are helpless to defend their
people against attack by the Sudanese regime. They are drawn into rebel
militias, often doing more harm than good to the people they want to
Their lives come together in a tale of love and loss, self-reliance
and courage, fear and violence. They overcome the ultimate challenge:
to become proud survivors with a future rather than defeated victims.
Based on true stories told to human rights journalist and activist,
Rebecca Tinsley, When the Stars Fall to Earth provides an inspiring but
intimate view of how Darfur’s people struggle to remain optimistic,
despite the tragedy enveloping them.
100% of Author Proceeds Donated
to the Children of Darfur
Available Spring 2010
"Zara flattened her back against the sheer rock face, hoping that
the overhang above would make her invisible. Not that long ago she had
played hide and seek with the other children in her village. Now, at fourteen
years of age, and alone in the world, she was running for her life, trying
to avoid a helicopter gun ship hovering above.
Abdelatif explained their predicament to the local sheikh who allowed them to
stay in his compound. That evening, over a shared meal of vegetable stew and
bread, Abdelatif was at pains to warn the local Fur elders that the Janjaweed
could strike them at any moment. They thanked him for his advice, but he saw
the same denial in their eyes that his father had encountered back in their own
Rashid twisted the boy’s arm behind his back and pushed his face into the
dirt. “Take back what you said,” he yelled. The boy, who at twelve
was three years Rashid’s junior, and several inches shorter, was at a physical
disadvantage. However, to Rashid’s surprise he didn’t seem
Hawa glanced up and curled her lip in disgust. “My father was a sheikh,
and he was the leader of his village. He did the honorable thing and he stayed
and fought for his people. He died as a man should die. That’s our tradition,” she
Ahmed rose at dawn each morning, when the air was still relatively cool.
He put on his running shorts, vest, and his most prized possession – his battered,
second hand running shoes—and he headed for the dirt track leading south,
across the fields from his village to the nearest market town. The moment the
lanky fifteen-year old was clear of his family’s modest compound
he began trotting. By the time he had reached the outskirts of the village
he was sprinting."
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