The Naked Don't Fear the Water

An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees

by Matthieu Aikins

On Sale: 02/15/2022

The Naked Don't Fear the Water

Enlarge Book Cover

The Naked Don't Fear the Water

An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees

by Matthieu Aikins

On Sale: 02/15/2022

Format:

About the Book

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water is a riveting and heartrending look at the hidden world of refugees that challenged everything I thought I knew about the consequences of war and globalization. It’s the most important work on the global refugee crisis to date, and a crucial document of these tumultuous times. It will go down as one of the great works of nonfiction literature of our generation.”—Anand Gopal, author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist No Good Men Among the Living

In this extraordinary book, an acclaimed young war reporter chronicles a dangerous journey on the smuggler’s road to Europe, accompanying his friend, an Afghan refugee, in search of a better future.

In 2016, a young Afghan driver and translator named Omar makes the heart-wrenching choice to flee his war-torn country, saying goodbye to Laila, the love of his life, without knowing when they might be reunited again. He is one of millions of refugees who leave their homes that year.

Matthieu Aikins, a journalist living in Kabul, decides to follow his friend. In order to do so, he must leave his own passport and identity behind to go underground on the refugee trail with Omar. Their odyssey across land and sea from Afghanistan to Europe brings them face to face with the people at heart of the migration crisis: smugglers, cops, activists, and the men, women and children fleeing war in search of a better life. As setbacks and dangers mount for the two friends, Matthieu is also drawn into the escape plans of Omar’s entire family, including Maryam, the matriarch who has fought ferociously for her children’s survival. 

Harrowing yet hopeful, this exceptional work brings into sharp focus one of the most contentious issues of our times. The Naked Don’t Fear the Water is a tale of love and friendship across borders, and an inquiry into our shared journey in a divided world.

 

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

"This is a gripping, devastating book, and it must have taken great courage and determination to write. The human story of the “smuggler’s road” from Afghanistan to Europe is one of terrible suffering, and Aikins tells it with clarity and simplicity. I could write that The Naked Don’t Fear The Water should be given prizes, and no doubt it will, but it seems to me that the best way to honor this book would be for us all to read it and ask ourselves what we can do for the thousands of unknown and unrecognized people who are treading this terrifying path." - Hari Kunzru, author of Red Pill

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water is a riveting and heartrending look at the hidden world of refugees that challenged everything I thought I knew about the consequences of war and globalization. It’s the most important work on the global refugee crisis to date, and a crucial document of these tumultuous times. It will go down as one of the great works of nonfiction literature of our generation.” - Anand Gopal, author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist No Good Men Among the Living

The Naked Don't Fear the Water is the most affecting book I have read about the iniquity of the refugee crisis since Exit West. The reporting is totally immersive, without ever losing its clarity, and gives a heartbreaking insight into the lives of normal people taking terrible risks to save themselves. I am amazed by Matthieu Aikins's quiet bravery and willingness to surrender to the story and the danger around him. It’s also, among many other things, a book about friendship and the global ties that bind us.”  - Sam Knight, author of The Premonitions Bureau

“Matthieu Aikins is that rarest of combinations – an intrepid journalist who writes beautifully. The Naked Don’t Fear the Water is a compellingly original piece of work, an unforgettable narrative about one of the great human epics of our day.”  - Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

Resources

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063058583
  • ISBN 10: 0063058588
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 02/15/2022
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price:34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Immigration
  • BISAC2 : POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
  • BISAC3 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Survival

The Naked Don't Fear the Water by Matthieu Aikins

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.

SELECT:

International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.