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(12/08/2008) Knots by Nurruddin Farah. New York. 2007. Riverhead Books. keywords: Literature Somalia Africa Black. 422 pages. Jacket painting - Rodrigo Corral. 9781594489242. February 2007.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A new novel from one of the world's great writers-an extraordinary work set in Mogadiscio, Somalia-that both breaks new ground and brings the author back to his literary roots. A strong, independent, modern woman who was born in Somalia but brought up in North America, Cambara returns to Mogadiscio to escape a failed marriage and an overweening mother. Her journey back to her native home is a desperate attempt to find herself on her own terms-however ironically-in a world of veils and burqas. And she has given herself a mission to reclaim her family's home from the warlord who has taken it as his own. Cambara finds emotional refuge and practical support with a group of Somali women activists working to broker peace in a country that has been savagely riven by its drug-addled, power-hungry men. Farah's novels have been famous for their unique African feminism since his debut, From a Crooked Rib ; Knots represents his most powerful return to that legacy-and provides a timely and sensitive exploration of life behind the veil. Knots also presents a penetrating portrayal of Somalia's capital city-a city that's changed from the city Westerners saw on CNN and in Black Hawk Down, now transformed into a state of violent anarchy and psychological disrepair that is largely undocumented and has never been more important to understand. An especially intimate portrait of Mogadiscio, KNOTS is informed by Farah's own recent efforts to reclaim his family's property there, as well as his experiences trying to negotiate peace among the city's warlords. Now more than ever, Farah's deeply wise and worldly inside look at the Muslim world is valuable and necessary. 'Nuruddin Farah takes us deep into a territory he has charted and mapped and made uniquely his own' - Chinua Achebe.

 

 

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