In 28, Stephanie Nolen, the Toronto Globe and Mail's Africa Bureau Chief, puts a human face on the crisis created by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Through riveting anecdotal stories, Nolen brings to life people involved in every aspect of the crisis and explores the effects of an epidemic that well exceeds the Black Plague in magnitude, a calamity ongoing just a 747-flight away. 28's stories are much more than a record of suffering and loss. Through her unprecedented reporting, Nolen introduces women, men, and children fighting vigorously and hopefully on the frontlines of disease: Tigist Haile Michael, a smart, shy 14-year-old Ethiopian orphan fending for herself and her baby brother on the slum streets of Addis Ababa; Alice Kadzanja, an HIV-positive nurse in Malawi, where one in six adults has the virus, and where the average adult's life expectancy is 36; Zachie Achmat, the hero of South Africa's politically fragmented battle against HIV/AIDS. Nolen's stories reveal how the disease works, how it spreads, and how it kills; how it is inextricably tied to conflict, famine, failure of leadership, and the collapse of states, and to the cultures it has ravaged; how treatment works, and how people who can't get it fight to stay alive with courage, dignity, and hope against huge odds. Writing with power, understanding, and simplicity, Stephanie Nolen makes us listen, allows us to understand, and inspires us to care. Timely, transformative, and thoroughly accessible, 28 is essential reading for our times.
Stephanie Nolen is the Africa Bureau Chief for the Globe and Mail, and one of only three journalists in the world dedicated to the AIDS story. She has reported from more than 40 countries around the world, and has won Canada's National Newspaper Award for International Reporting two years in a row. She was the recipient of the 2003, 2004, and 2006 Amnesty International Award for Human Rights Reporting, for reports from war zones in Uganda and Sudan, and also won the Markwell Award of the International Society of Political Psychology. She is the author of Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race and Shakespeare's Face.