And Then Life Happens

And Then Life Happens Cover

And Then Life Happens

A Memoir

By Auma Obama; Ross Benjamin (Translator)

St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250010056, 352pp.

Publication Date: April 24, 2012


A moving account by Auma Obama about her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, Barack Obama.

While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama's childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings' shared father. Barack and Auma met for the first time in the 1980s, and they built a lasting relationship which lead to travels together in Kenya, research into their family history and finally Auma's support for her brother's political career and eventual bid for the U.S. presidency.

Auma spent sixteen years studying and living in Germany, moved to England for love, and gave birth to a daughter there. The tension between her original and chosen worlds and cultures was a constant challenge, and eventually Auma returned to Africa and worked to support young men and women in shaping their futures.

In "And Then Life Happens," her candid and emotional memoir, Auma shares her own story as well as recollections of and experiences with her famous brother, who says about their first encounter: "I hugged her, we looked at each other, and laughed. I knew right then that I loved her.

About the Author
AUMA OBAMA was born in Kenya right after the country gained its independence. She grew up first with her mother and paternal grandparents, and later with her (and President Obama's) father and American step-mother. She now works in Nairobi for CARE International, an organization specializing in educational projects worldwide.

Praise For And Then Life Happens

"A burnished look at a difficult, ruptured childhood in Kenya... [a] delicate, emotional work...that enlightens and deepens the public’s understanding of the president." -- Kirkus Reviews

"...engrossing... Especially poignant are the sections that tell how, as a college student, Auma finally got to know the mother who relinquished her as a baby. Despite the level of recognition Auma achieved during the 2008 presidential election, there are no airs here. The prose is simple, and Auma's honest, straightforward storytelling makes her an instantly likeable narrator." -- Publishers Weekly

Monday, May 7, 2012

Auma Obama, President Obama's half-sister, discusses their relationship, and what his rise has meant to the Obama family in Kenya. Host Michel Martin speaks with Auma Obama about her recently released memoir, And Then Life Happens. More at

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