Hurst Publishers has signed The Mayor of Mogadishu: The Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia by Andrew Harding, a former BBC Africa correspondent.
Hurst acquired world English rights, excluding the Americas and South Africa, from Rebecca Carter at Janklow & Nesbit.
The book is a "dramatic" and "unexpectedly uplifting" story from inside the "world's most failed state", seen through the eyes of a tenacious individual –– nicknamed 'Tarzan' –– who embodies the resilience of Somalia in the face of appalling adversity. Harding tells the story of the tumultuous life of Mohamoud Nur, an impoverished nomad, activist, and later exile to London, who eventually returns to Mogadishu - a ruined and almost unrecognisable city now mostly controlled by the Islamist militants of Al-Shabaab - to become mayor. The Mayor of Mogadishu is a "rare insider’s account of Somalia’s unravelling, and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey".
Michael Dwyer, m.d. and publisher at Hurst, said: "What attracted me to the book is how Harding's stark yet empathetic prose humanises rather than demonises those tangled up in Somalia's long-running political drama."
Harding has worked as a foreign correspondent for the past 25 years in Russia, Asia and Africa. He has been visiting Somalia since 2000. His television and radio reports for BBC News have won him international recognition, including an Emmy, an award from Britain’s Foreign Press Association, and other awards in France, Monte Carlo, the United States and Hong Kong.
The Mayor of Mogadishu will be published in September 2016.