A book about persuasion and performance that asks unsettling questions about lies, truths, and the difference between being believed and being dismissed in situations spanning asylum interviews, emergency rooms, consulting jobs, and family life.
The book is instantly gripping ... Her frustration and anger light up the page as she makes formidable arguments for justice ... It’s hard to categorise Who Gets Believed; it is part memoir, part reportage, part criticism ... There are some philosophical meditations, particularly in its final act, which feel distracting and interfere with pacing. Even so, the book remains an ambitious and moving exploration of the borders we draw around credible victimhood, and will cement Nayeri’s position as a master storyteller of the refugee experience.
Ardent, harrowing and occasionally exasperating ... A scintillatingly narrated journey from refugee campfire to academia, but another story rubs nigglingly against the narrative’s grain, that of her partner Sam’s brother Josh, a troubled soul who took his own life ... Such truth-telling, apparently devoid of tact or compassion, is not necessarily the virtue she takes it to be ... But her book is mostly an elegant telling of truth to power ... Her book is published at a poignant moment ... At best, Nayeri’s book is an eloquent rebuke to that heartlessness.
This book combines deep research into the arcane workings of the asylum process with personal observations about religion, literature, cinema, and family life ... [Nayeri's] greatest achievement is in filtering everything through her distinct voice, articulating her doubts, worries, compassion, anger, frustrations, and loves with bracing honesty. Few books are as erudite, comprehensive, and intensely personal all at once.