A “Lost Boy’s” journey to Philadelphia and beyond

Listen 00:48:46

Guests: Harriet Levin Millan and Michael Majok Kuch

In 1988, with their village under attack, a 5-year-old boy was left behind instead of following his mother and baby brother out of their hut. The startled little boy eventually ran into the bush and hid in a tree for two days. Thus begins How Fast Can You Run, the new book by HARRIET LEVIN MILLAN, based on the harrowing real-life story of MICHAEL MAJOK KUCH, one of the so-called “Lost Boys” of Sudan. After fleeing his burning village, Kuch joins a group of boys who manage to avoid wild animals and soldiers, and are eventually rescued and taken to a series of refugee camps and finally to one in Northern Kenya. In 2000, due to Kuch’s determination, they are selected to join the 4,000 refugees the United States will allow to seek asylum. Both Millan and Kuch will join us in studio to talk about the writing of the book, Kuch’s life as a refugee, his resettlement in Philadelphia, and his 2010 reunion with his mother, after two decades of separation. Kuch has since returned to South Sudan and now works in the office of the President. Together they created a fund that reunited several Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan with their mothers. She teaches creative writing at Drexel University and is the prize winning author of three books of poetry.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal