On Sale: February 1, 2007
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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 him back to his literary roots.
A strong, self-reliant 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
country where women are expected to wear veils. 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
(just reissued by Penguin); Knots represents his most
powerful return to that legacy.
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,' transformed into a
state of violent anarchy and psychological disrepair that
has never been more important to understand. An especially
intimate portrait of Mogadiscio, it's 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.
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