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Adnan's Story
Cover of Adnan's Story
Adnan's Story
The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial
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Now a New York Times bestseller and a major docuseriesThe 2017 American Book Award Winner from the Before Columbus FoundationA Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016A Goodreads Best of 2016...
Now a New York Times bestseller and a major docuseriesThe 2017 American Book Award Winner from the Before Columbus FoundationA Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016A Goodreads Best of 2016...
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  • Now a New York Times bestseller and a major docuseries

    The 2017 American Book Award Winner from the Before Columbus Foundation

    A Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016

    A Goodreads Best of 2016 Nonfiction Finalist

    A Kobo Best Book of 2016

    Includes an update from Rabia on Adnan's vacated murder conviction in summer 2016

    Serial only told part of the story...

    In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan's story. In 2014, Koenig's investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners

    But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State's case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence — among many other points — and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan's Story also shares Adnan's life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.

About the Author-

  • RABIA CHAUDRY is an attorney and partner at Chaudry & Anwer Immigration Law, a recent Jennings Randolph Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, an International Security Fellow at the New America think tank, and a Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. She is the co-host of Undisclosed, one of the top-ranked podcasts in the iTunes store with nearly 250 million downloads, and The 45th, with over four million downloads. She is a member of the National Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council and the Aspen Institute Vanguard Board. She is a frequent public speaker, and her writing has appeared in numerous outlets including Time.com, The Huffington Post, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 13, 2016
    Launched into the collective consciousness by the podcast Serial, the investigation into Adnan Syed’s involvement in the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend continues to fascinate in this gripping account from attorney Chaudry, a friend of Syed’s family, who first brought the case to the attention of the podcast creators. Chaudry uses her unique perspective to craft a gripping and meticulously detailed account of the case including letters, court transcripts, and documentary evidence that fill in the show’s gaps and provide the latest updates. Readers new to the story will have no trouble following—the narrative is outlined extensively from the beginning—and podcast listeners will find plenty of previously undisclosed material. Chaudry explains what Serial missed, including a lack of legal perspective, and she argues that host Sarah Koenig failed to convey the enormity of Syed’s (later disbarred) attorney’s incompetence. She strongly makes the case for cultural and religious bias in the investigation and conviction and presents damaging evidence of police misconduct, including tampering with evidence and a witness. She also examines other suspects and their possible motives and alibis. Syed provides running commentary that creates a depiction of the damage inflicted on a person when the system fails. Chaudry’s version of a story of “justice, bigotry, faith, community, devastation, healing, and hope” points to an intentional, systematic framing of Syed by investigators, allegations that will surely spark controversy as his legal ordeal continues.

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2016

    Nothing about this case is normal, learns Chaudry, who spent more than a decade advocating for Adnan Syed, her brother's best friend, before bringing his case to the attention of journalist Sarah Koenig. In 2014, Koenig narrated Syed's story via the popular podcast Serial, a spin-off of the radio program This American Life. Recounted is the racial and religious profiling that occurred as Syed was convicted of the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend in 1999, denied bail, given a life sentence, and refused multiple appeals--all while enduring a negligent lawyer who was later disbarred. In building their case against Syed, Chaudry maintains, the state of Maryland followed no other leads; ignored crime scene evidence; engaged in witness tampering, including offering rewards; and arrested Syed's only alibi. Chaudry, a lawyer who hosts the podcast Undisclosed, also reveals inconsistencies in cell phone evidence among other key records. Interspersed among detailed court proceedings are reflections from Syed. Most haunting are depictions of his family members, who each grieve in their own way. VERDICT A skillfully written account of injustice that will have wide appeal to fans of Serial and readers of human interest stories, and is especially timely as Syed's conviction was vacated in July 2016 and a new trial granted.--Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2017

    Chaudry was a law student when her younger brother's good friend Adnan Syed was arrested for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Back in 2000, the case made local headlines, but nothing could be compared to the national attention it attracted when Sarah Koenig decided to produce the podcast Serial for This American Life in 2013. Thanks to the national publicity of Serial, the following podcast Undisclosed, and the hours of work by Chaudry and other prominent lawyers and friends, Syed was granted a new trial in June 2016. Chaudry, with Syed's approval, details even more mistakes and travesties of the murder investigation and the trial. As recently as August 2016, controversies over Syed's alibi have been in the news, and many high school students listen to the podcast in class. While the book is a bit clunky toward the end, readers will still want to acquire all the facts to decide for themselves if Syed is guilty or innocent. VERDICT Fans of Serial will eagerly read more about the case, and true crime enthusiasts will download the podcast after reading this title.-Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 15, 2016
    "If there is one takeaway from this story, it should be this--the criminal justice system is not just deeply flawed, it is broken." That is how attorney and U.S. Institute of Peace senior fellow Chaudry summarizes the murder conviction and appeals of Adnan Syed, the subject of the Serial podcast.The author, whose brother was Adnan's best friend, approached Sarah Koenig with Adnan's story to set in motion the popular podcast, "an international phenomenon and the most successful podcast ever produced." With more than 100 documents and letters spread throughout the book, Chaudry walks through the state's case, issues with Adnan's attorney (who was disbarred a few months after her client's conviction), and other pieces of the story that don't stack up. She gives the readers more background on Adnan's family and how his conviction tore them apart, the reward paid to a key player in his prosecution, and how Adnan has survived his incarceration. The author peppers the narrative with Adnan's letters, which provide his perspective and reflections on the legal process and his life behind bars. Chaudry, who works to counter violent extremism, outlines the bias that pervaded Adnan's prosecution and provides context for the Muslim community and how first-generation American-Muslim teens navigate its strict cultural mores. Her writing is clear, eloquent, and engaging, and her case is convincing. After Serial, Chaudry recruited accomplished legal and investigative minds to track down mistakes, conflicts, and new evidence for Adnan's case. These insights seem to exonerate Adnan and point to a different suspect. Any murder is a tragedy, but a young, potentially innocent suspect sentenced to life in prison after a cursory, slipshod investigation full of cultural bias--and defended by an inept attorney--only magnifies the travesty. For Serial and true-crime fans, this book is a page-turner perfect for a quiet weekend.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial
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