Crossbones | Granta

  • Published: 06/06/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847086105
  • 146x20mm
  • 400 pages


Nuruddin Farah

A dozen years after his last visit, Jeebleh returns to his beloved Mogadiscio to see old friends. He is accompanied by his son-in-law, Malik, a journalist intent on covering the region’s ongoing turmoil. What greets them at first is not the chaos Jeebleh remembers, however, but an eerie calm enforced by ubiquitous white-robed figures bearing whips.

Meanwhile, Malik’s brother, Ahl, has arrived in Puntland, the region notorious as a pirates’ base. Ahl is searching for his stepson, Taxliil, who has vanished from Minneapolis, apparently recruited by an imam allied to Somalia’s rising religious insurgency. The brothers’ efforts draw them closer to Taxliil and deeper into the fabric of the country, even as Somalis brace themselves for an Ethiopian invasion. Jeebleh leaves Mogadiscio only a few hours before the borders are breached and raids descend from land and sea. As the uneasy quiet shatters and the city turns into a battle zone, the brothers experience firsthand the derailments of war.

Crossbones is a fascinating look at individuals caught in the maw of zealotry, profiteering and political conflict, by one of Africa’s most highly acclaimed international writers.

Nuruddin's fiction is a corrective to our ignorance of his homeland... he brings an insider's instinct and current knowledge to his portrait of its volatile terrain, while achieving [a] telescopic perspective that help explain the broader picture... chilling moments and moving scenes

Tom Adair, Scotland on Sunday

Farah offers us a cast of patiently drawn characters responding to the relentlessness of Somali violence... Crossbones demonstrates yet again Farah's unwavering commitment to a people who endure

Zoe Norridge, Independent

This candid overview offers valid insights into the upheaval of a country caught between cultures and mired in corrupt politics and self-interest, delusion and menace

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

The Author

Nurudin Farah is the author of nine novels, including From a Crooked Rib, Links and his Blood in the Sun trilogy: Maps, Gifts, and Secrets. His novels have been translated into seventeen languages and have won numerous awards. Farah was named the 1998 laureate of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, “widely regarded as the most prestigious international literary award after the Nobel” (The New York Times). Born in Baidoa, Somalia, he now lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with his wife and their children.

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