Black History Month Spotlight: The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed

The Orchard of Lost Souls

The Orchard of Lost Souls

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (MacMillan)

Publication Date: March 4th, 2014

Synopsis:

From one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, a stunning novel illuminating Somalia’s tragic civil war

It is 1987 and Hargeisa waits. Whispers of revolution travel on the dry winds, but still the dictatorship remains secure.

Soon, through the eyes of three women, we will see Somalia fall.

Nine-year-old Deqo has left the vast refugee camp where she was born, lured to the city by the promise of her first pair of shoes.

Kawsar, a solitary widow, is trapped in her little house with its garden clawed from the desert, confined to her bed after a savage beating in the local police station.

Filsan, a young female soldier, has moved from Mogadishu to suppress the rebellion growing in the north.

As the country is unraveled by a civil war that will shock the world, the fates of these three women are twisted irrevocably together.

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa and was exiled before the outbreak of war. In The Orchard of Lost Souls, she returns to Hargeisa in her imagination. Intimate, frank, brimming with beauty and fierce love, this novel is an unforgettable account of ordinary lives lived in extraordinary times.

About the Author:

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa in 1981. In 1986 her family temporarily relocated to London; this move became permanent with the eruption of the Somali Civil War. She was educated in London and went to Oxford to study history and politics. She finally returned to Hargeisa, now in the new Republic of Somaliland, in 2008. Her first novel, Black Mamba Boy, won the Betty Trask Prize, was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award. In 2013 she was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.

– Bio taken from the MacMillan website

A. A. Omer

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