Unknown: A Refugee's Story

Akuch Kuol Anyieth

Unknown: A Refugee's Story
Bolinda Publishing
1 August 2022

Unknown: A Refugee’s Story

Akuch Kuol Anyieth

In 1996, when Akuch Kuol Anyieth is five, her mother flees from war-torn South Sudan to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya with her children, while her husband stays to fight in the civil war. The family spends nine long years in the camp, eking out an unimaginable existence amid famine, disease, extreme heat and chronic violence.

Finally, in 2005, they are granted a humanitarian visa to Australia, but the reality of their new life in Melbourne is complex. Akuch’s brother spirals out of control, while the family feels isolated and a target of racism.

But Akuch is determined, excelling in school and doing her best to be a regular teen, while she and her family slowly draw away from the cycle of violence.

Unknown is a powerful homage to the strength of Akuch’s mother, who protected them all against terrible odds. It is a story of sadness and anger, but also of grace and humour, love and triumphant survival.

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