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Head of Zeus
Father of Lions
03 Oct 2019 * EBOOK * £6.99 * 9781789540789

This is a story of human decency in the midst of barbarism - how the zookeeper of Mosul Zoo saved the animals during the Isis rule of the city between 2014 and 2017.

Non Fiction / BG (Biography)
Extent: 400 pages
Exclusive: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: CA US
Father of Lions: How One Man Defied Isis and Saved Mosul Zooby Louise Callaghan

'Callaghan's portrayal of a city under siege is many-layered and brilliantly told' Sunday Times

Iraq, 2014

As ISIS laid terrible siege to Mosul, a zoo on the eastern edge of the Tigris was kept open against all odds. Under the stern hand of the zookeeper Abu Laith, whose name – loosely translated – means Father of Lions, its animals faced not only years of occupation, but starvation and bombardment by the liberating forces. Father of Lions is the story of Mosul Zoo: of resilience and human decency in the midst of barbarism.

'Father of Lions captures, with heartbreaking poignancy, the human cost of these conflicts' Josie Ensor, Middle East Correspondent for the Daily Telegraphy

'Through the story of a man who loves both lions and life, Louise Callaghan shows how humour and defiance can counter cruelty' Lindsey Hilsum, author of In Extremis

Louise Callaghan is the Middle East correspondent for the Sunday Times. She was named New Journalist of the Year in 2017, and won the Marie Colvin Award at the British Journalism Awards in 2018. The citation read, in part: 'Louise Callaghan's work fights to get to the truth of what is happening on the ground in rebel-held Syria... She bore witness to crimes governments and armed groups would rather were hidden away.' Forbes Magazine named her as one of their '30 under 30' key people in the media.

Author has won several journalism awards including a 2017 British Journalism Award for New Journalist of the Year and The Marie Colvin Award.

Author is one of the youngest foreign correspondents ever hired by the Sunday Times.

A heart-stopping debut that has already provoked global interest.

MARKET: The Return, Hisham Matar; In Extremis, Lindsey Hilsum; Marie Colvin.


'An unexpectedly funny and moving book. You might not expect to laugh when reading about ISIS-held Mosul, but through the story of a man who loves both lions and life, Louise Callaghan shows how humour and defiance can counter cruelty, and why both humans and animals crave freedom' Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News and author of In Extremis: the life of war correspondent Marie Colvin

'Callaghan knows her way around a war. Her portrayal of a city under siege is many-layered and brilliantly told. The gallows humour and defiance of Mosulis in the most desperate circumstances will appeal to British readers' Sunday Times

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