"In The Survival Girls, Ming Holden reminds us of the power of stories to cross even the most painful divides. The stories that connect Holden with a group of women refugees in Kenya resonate half a world a way, thanks to mesmerizing prose that makes the trauma they shared approachable but never abstract. This is a magnificent book, but it is also more than that — an act of resistance, a struggle for survival."
-- Nathan Schneider, author of God in Proof and Thank You, Anarchy
“Powerfully moving. Ming Holden went to Nairobi to help victims of the worst kinds of violence. She came back a changed woman. Read this, and find yourself transformed.”
– Ramez Naam, author of Nexus
"I entered into The Survival Girls thinking I might become acquainted with a set of stubborn problems in a faraway land. I did not expect the extent to which I would sink right into the Survival Girls and fall in love with each and every one of them,or to come to admire the narrator’s pluck and daring as I did. Ming Holden narrates this work with all the grace and charm of someone who is working tirelessly and compassionately in the development realm. As she weaves the narrative seamlessly from a summer of work in Kenya to the backdrop of her life back in the United States, readers will become invested in the Survival Girls, rooting for them as if their -- and the girls’ -- very lives depended on it. To walk with The Survival Girls is to hold the hand of a magnificent and powerful piece of writing. This book announces Ming Lauren Holden as one of the most exciting new voices in American letters."
-- Jacinda Townsend, author of Saint Monkey
"In The Survival Girls Ming Holden transforms her own struggles into a kind of radical, loving advocacy—a transformation brought about by her collaboration with The Survival Girls. Holden wrestles honestly with her own privilege, cultural biases, and history in an attempt to have deep connections with the young women—Clemence, Dianne, Nana, Odette, Palome, Sofia, and Valentine—with whom she works, by whom she’s schooled in the truest way. As Holden writes, “they have changed me and I think they’ll change the world.” I can speak for myself: I am changed, for which I thank Ming and The Survival Girls."
-- Ross Gay, author of Bringing the Shovel Down and Against Which
"Together, Ming Holden and a group of young women in Nairobi have bravely given voice to their very compelling story. The Survival Girls creates a vital space within which the pain these women have experienced, as women, can be safely held, and heard, and healed. Their story holds value for all of us trying to make sense of and bring healing to a suffering world."
-- David Mohler, Vice President of Duke Energy