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Season In Hell

My 130 Days in the Sahara with Al Qaeda

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Arthur Ellis Award for Non-fiction

British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

Ottawa Book Award for English Non-Fiction

Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

About the Book

For decades, Robert R. Fowler was a dominant force in Canadian foreign affairs. In one heart-stopping minute, all of that changed. On December 14, 2008, Fowler, acting as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Niger, was kidnapped by Al Qaeda, becoming the highest ranked UN official ever held captive. Along with his colleague Louis Guay, Fowler lived, slept and ate with his captors for nearly five months, gaining rare first-hand insight into the motivations of the world’s most feared terror group. Fowler’s capture, release and subsequent media appearances have helped shed new light on foreign policy and security issues as we enter the second decade of the “War on Terror.”

A Season in Hell is Fowler’s compelling story of his captivity, told in his own words, but it is also a startlingly frank discussion about the state of a world redefined by clashing civilizations.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A page-turner from beginning to end. . . . A tale of courage and human triumph.” —The Globe and Mail

“Vital reading.” —National Post

“Fowler has captured the terror of his ordeal in direct, rich, and vibrant prose. . . . A riveting narrative about an experience many others would not have survived.” —Lt.-Gen. the Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire (Ret.), Senator

“What a remarkable book this is. The writing is clear, compelling, visceral . . . The story leaves you gasping . . . It’s been eons since I’ve read a work of non-fiction where every page grabs your heart.” —Stephen Lewis

“A story of courage and determination in the face of fear and terror; a story of international political intrigue where the personal and political stakes could not be higher. . . . [Fowler] is among Canada’s most distinguished heroes.” —James Orbinski, MD, author of An Imperfect Offering and Chair in Global Health at the University of Toronto

“Through this fascinating account of his time spent in gruelling captivity, Robert Fowler shows us the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity and danger.” —Kofi A. Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006), Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation

“An engaging, clearly written story: subtle, informative, at times very moving, but never maudlin.” —Literary Review of Canada

“The book reads with the tension and pacing of a fictional thriller. . . .Fowler’s gripping account, from the moment of his abduction, is astonishingly detailed, at times chillingly detached and at times heart-wrenchingly moving.” —Jury Citation, the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443402064
  • ISBN 10: 1443402060
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 11/08/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price: 11.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BISAC2: POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General

Season In Hell by Robert Fowler

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