All Our Names

All Our Names

Book - 2014
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In Uganda, two young men get caught up in a revolt against the post-colonial regime in the early 1970s. As the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart - one of them into the deepest peril. In a quiet town in the American Midwest, an exotic stranger arrives: an exchange student from Africa called Isaac. Helen, the social worker asked to help him settle in, quickly falls for him, though she soon learns to keep their affair hidden from prejudiced eyes. And she soon realises that Isaac is haunted by his mysterious past. Switching back and forth between Africa and America, this taut, searing novel blazes with insights about the physical and emotional geographies that circumscribe our lives. Writing within the tradition of Naipaul, Greene, and Achebe, Mengestu gives us a political novel that is also a transfixing portrait of love and grace, self-determination, and the names we are given and the names we earn.
Publisher: London : Sceptre, 2014.
London, Sceptre,, 2014.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781444793772
Characteristics: 255 pages ; 23 cm.


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Dec 01, 2015

An interesting book about the revolution in Uganda in the 1970s told through the story of two friends, and about the life of an immigrant who fled Uganda for the US told through the story of one of the friends and his social worker. Both stories are well told - the violence in Uganda and the racism in the US - although the voice of the social worker does not rung as true.

Nov 10, 2015

much better than his previous, "how to read the air"

May 19, 2015

Enjoyed this book very much. Liked the clean back and forth between the lives in Africa and the US. It gave me some idea of how life in some places in Africa must be and how vastly different it is from mine.

Jan 13, 2015

Confusing at first. I had to Wicki up 'Kampala' which reminded me of the dreadful Idi Amin and the bloody upheavals then and now.

The heroine's character seems unlikely. Although the writing is lovely I quit when the author ambushed me. I did go back to read the end but the spell was broken.

May 21, 2014

I loved reading this book. The writing is beautiful and the story is engaging. Will definitely be checking out other books by this author.

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