BATH — Author Abdi Nor Iftin will talk about and sign copies of his book, “Call Me American: A Memoir” on Oct. 9 at the Patten Free Library.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

Abdi, a Somalian who now lives in Portland, first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. Marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords in the 1990s, Abdi cheered the arrival of these real Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.

Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it suddenly became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and onto the Internet, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. But as life in Somalia grew more dangerous, Abdi was left with no choice but to flee to Kenya as a refugee.

In a stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America — filled with twists and turns and a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairobi — did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service network and This American Life.

Abdi said he’s now a proud resident of Maine and on the path to citizenship. He works an an interpreter for Somalis who have come to Maine, and he was recently accepted to the University of Southern Maine, where he will be studying political science.