“…the strength here is in Millan’s ability to fully inhabit Majok’s consciousness; she has crafted a rich tale that authentically portrays—and doesn’t exploit—Majok’s refugee experience. A deeply felt novel of grace and intelligence.”
“Generosity and justice prevail in the storytelling . . . an unforgettable individual portrait of all-too-impersonal war. ”
“Because How Fast Can You Run is based on a true saga, the viewpoints and experiences of Kuch come to vivid life and weave a powerful saga of politics, struggle, and survival that's hard to put down. Any reader interested in accounts of the Sudanese war will find this a compelling method of absorbing history at its most meaningful: through the eyes of a young eyewitness who didn't just observe events, but lived through and survived them.”
—Midwest Book Review
“How Fast Can You Run is an insightful, gripping, and compassionate account of the second Sudanese Civil War and refugee life in America. Michael Majok Kuch’s observations, as the author has written them, about what happens to him over the course of his young life are heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure. Refugees are individuals. They are not the faceless, nameless millions we in the West encounter only on the evening news. How Fast Can You Run is an important reminder of this.”
"A powerful meditation on love, loss
and triumph of survival. A stunning achievement not to be missed.”
—Elizabeth L. Silver, author of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton
“The refugee is the hero of our time... Harriet Levin Millan tells the epic story of a single refugee, the indomitable Michael Majok Kuch, and she gives song to them all.”
—Ken Kalfus, National Book Award Finalist, author of Coup de Foudre
“How Fast Can You Run
is the best war novel told from a young boy’s perspective since Jerzy Kosinskyi’s The Painted Bird.”
—Nyuol Lueth Tong, Editor of There is a Country:
New Fiction from the New Nation of South Sudan
"Brilliantly renders the contours of Dinka and refugee life as well as the internal life of a young refugee tormented by the loss of his family and his childhood. Congratulations to Milan. How Fast Can You Run is a marvelous achievement."
—Deborah Scroggins, author Emma's War: A True Story of Life and Death in Sudan.
"Devastating, moving, full of magical grace."
—Tyler Meier, Executive Director, University of Arizona Poetry Center, Former Managing Editor, TheKenyon Review
"Genre bursting... full characterization from Sudan to Philadelphia, exacting detail from beginning to end, clearly visualized African landscapes in all their complexity...A fuller story than How Fast Can You Run
cannot have been told of the tragic events of the war in Sudan that uproot the young boy from the Dinka plains of Southern Sudan to Kakuma refugee camp to Nairobi and Philadelphia and how he has to fight a different kind of war in America from which he emerges victorious.
—Billy Kahora, Editor, Kwani
" A beautiful and crucial story told by two people, one Sudanese with dreams of independence, the other, an American poet who listens to Michael Majok Kuch through her imagination. An enduring image for me—a refugee boy blowing up a discarded bloody surgical glove to make a soccer ball...reminds us that the most human of all activities, the one thing that binds us all is finding beauty even in impossible situations."
—Mukoma Wa Ngugi, author of Nairobi Heat
“With stirring compassion and evocative power, Harriet Levin Millan has recreated the heartbreakingly courageous odyssey of one ‘Lost Boy of Sudan,’ Michael Majok Kuch, as he escaped the hell of his homeland riven by genocidal conflict to the lonely limbo of a childhood spent in East African refugee and IDP camps...How Fast Can You Run
is a novel of the moment as it informs and addresses the hardships, tragedies and wonders facing the 65 million refugees currently displaced by regional and international conflict.”
—Cheryl Pearl Sucher, author of The Rescue of Memory