Dundurn Press is thrilled to announce that The Burden of Exile by Aaron Berhane has been nominated for the 2024 Forest of Reading Evergreen Award!
Called “an urgent story, especially as journalistic freedoms continue to be attacked” by Booklist, The Burden of Exile is about how Berhane started the first independent newspaper in the notorious police state of Eritrea — one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world. When the paper is shut down, he flees arrest and begins a dangerous journey to freedom. Berhane’s story is one of bravery amid complicated international geopolitics, of spies, guns, and betrayal, and — ultimately — of triumph and the piecing together of family in a cold new country.
The Evergreen Award™ is designed for adults of any age and the lists are comprised of Canadian fiction and non-fiction titles. Adult library patrons have the opportunity to explore these books by themselves, through their public library or just in a book club format. A group of experienced library staff have come together to share their favourite reading with adult readers. The winner will be announced during Ontario Public Library Week in October 2025.
Aaron Berhane (1969–2021) was an Eritrean Canadian journalist. Co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Eritrea’s now banned largest independent newspaper, Setit, he escaped arrest in 2001 by fleeing to Sudan, then Kenya, and subsequently settled in Canada.