53 pages • 1 hour readJessica Goudeau
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As the author, Goudeau constructs the narrative and offers evidentiary support for her arguments. Alternating the stories of two refugees, Mu Naw and Hasna, she describes in detail the trauma they endured in their countries of origin and in flight from those countries. Goudeau, who knew and befriended Mu Naw in Austin, interviewed both her friend and Hasna on multiple occasions. As a result, she not only reports events but describes the feelings of these women. Goudeau intentionally chose these two refugees because they came to the US at different times and as members of two very different groups.
With more than a decade of experience working with refugees in Austin, Goudeau has an understanding of the challenges they face and of their traumatic backgrounds. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Texas and has written articles for various publications, such as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. She has also worked as the Interim Writing Center Director at Southwestern University. After the Last Border is her first book. It won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, a Christopher Award for work in media that affirms the highest values of the human spirit, and was named Library Journal’s best social science book of the year.