The Dragons, The Giant, The Women – Wayétu Moore


A memoir of family, war and peace


“Immersive, exhilarating. . . . This memoir adds an essential voice to the genre of migrant literature, challenging false popular narratives that migration is optional, permanent and always results in a better life.”The New York Times Book Review

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My Ol’ Ma says the best stories do not always end happily,
but happiness will find it’s way in there somehow.

When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia. Yet all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, studying in faraway New York. Before she can be reunited, the Civil War breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking along dangerous roads to the relative safety of their ancestral village. Here they will hide until a remarkable rescue by a rebel soldier, who smuggles them across the border.

The Dragons, the Giant, the Women spans this heartbreaking journey into childhood, and Moore’s years adjusting to life in the USA, where she discovers a new kind of danger, as a black woman and an immigrant. This is an unforgettable memoir of the search for home in the midst of political and personal upheaval, and an intimate story about the tenacious power of love and family.

About the Author

Wayétu Moore was born in Liberia and raised in Spring, Texas. She is a graduate of Howard University, Columbia University, and the University Carolina. She teaches at the City University of New York’s Jay College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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