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Interview: Sue Grant-Marshall Finds out More About Auma Obama’s Life

And Then Life HappensSue Grant-Marshall interviewed Auma Obama, author of And Then Life Happens: A Memoir, for Business Day.

Obama discussed her reluctance to write about her brother, Barack, and spoke about the difficulties she experienced growing up and adjusting to western culture when she left Kenya as a young woman:

It’s never easy being the sibling of someone extremely famous. This is compounded when he’s one of the most powerful men in the world and you’ve grown up apart, on far-flung continents, in different cultural and ethnic societies. Auma Obama comments, somewhat tartly, that people are usually disappointed when she tells them there’s nothing special about her relationship with Barack.

“It’s boring. We’re just a brother and sister who see each other whenever we have the time,” she says. That is revealing in itself, for many families connected in similarly unusual circumstances might ensure their paths never crossed. But it’s clear from her book, And Then Life Happens (St Martin’s Press), that their relationship is more than a biological incident. It’s a friendship.

It was Barack Obama, in his early 20s back in 1984 when he was working in “the projects” in Chicago, who first reached out to his half-sister, who was working in Germany.

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