Farah was raised in Ogaden (an Ethiopian province) but he was born in 1945 in the Republic of Somalia. Farah never forgot his Somali roots though; many of his books have some sort of Somali connection. His first novel, From a Crooked Crib, was about a young girl running from an arranged marriage to an older man. This book angered many in Somalia and led to Farah's self imposed exile from his homeland to evade arrest. Farah's exile lasted 22 years before he dared to visit. While in exile, Farah worked in The U.S., Sweden, Germany, Italy, and Sudan. His literary works has earned him recognition and awards: the Premio Cavour in Italy, the Kurt Tucholsky Prize in Sweden, the Lettre Ulysses Award in Berlin, and in 1998 he won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.