August 3rd, 2020

politics

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plovdiv

Guban, by Abdi Latif Ega

Second paragraph of third chapter:
In this spirit, Tusmo went immediately to a prominent member of weight in the affairs of the clan in the dislocation of the city. Somal’s clan system was based on patrilineal blood relationships, complemented differently by matrilineal blood relations. The male blood line, however, and thus the male, dominated clan affairs. Though Tusmo was particularly aggrieved in the case of her husband’s sudden arrest, Hoagsaday’s clan could never be represented by her.
Last year, I had a brief foray Somali politics, and bought this book to get myself in the zone. It's a detailed portrayal of Somali politics and society. The protagonists, Haogsaday and Tusmo, are separated by Hoagsaday's sudden and unexplained arrest; the two of them take different odysseys through the Horn of Africa, intersecting with the bigger political story of their country (the date is not given but I an guessing late 1980s). The disruption of the family unit matches the disruption of their nation, though the point is not belaboured too heavily. I was certainly educated.

I'm afraid that I was deterred at first by the poor editing and formatting. The book needed a thorough proof-reading in English - too many homophones or near-homophones used. And the Kindle format includes page breaks for each print page, complete with header and footer, which is very disruptive to the flow of the reading process. As far as I can tell the book was self-published, and the author is apparently working on a second book - I hope he brings in another pair of eyes next time. Anyway, you can get it here.

This was my top unread book by a non-white author. Next on that pile is Palestine +100, edited by Basma Ghalayini.