All Our Names

All Our Names

Book - 2014
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"A fierce and tender examination of identity, love, disillusionment, friendship and sacrifice. . . . Extraordinary." National Post
All Our Names is the story of a young man who comes of age during an African revolution, drawn from the hushed halls of his university into the intensifying clamour of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, and the path of revolution leads to almost certain destruction, he leaves behind his country and friends for America. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into the routines of small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom.
Subtle, intelligent, and quietly devastating, All Our Names is a novel about identity, about the names we are given and the names we earn. The emotional power of Mengestu's work is indelible.
Publisher: Toronto : Bond Street Books, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780385679794
Characteristics: 255 pages ; 25 cm


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Dec 01, 2015

An interesting book about the revolution in Uganda in the 1970s told through the story of two friends, and about the life of an immigrant who fled Uganda for the US told through the story of one of the friends and his social worker. Both stories are well told - the violence in Uganda and the racism in the US - although the voice of the social worker does not rung as true.

Nov 10, 2015

much better than his previous, "how to read the air"

May 19, 2015

Enjoyed this book very much. Liked the clean back and forth between the lives in Africa and the US. It gave me some idea of how life in some places in Africa must be and how vastly different it is from mine.

Jan 13, 2015

Confusing at first. I had to Wicki up 'Kampala' which reminded me of the dreadful Idi Amin and the bloody upheavals then and now.

The heroine's character seems unlikely. Although the writing is lovely I quit when the author ambushed me. I did go back to read the end but the spell was broken.

May 21, 2014

I loved reading this book. The writing is beautiful and the story is engaging. Will definitely be checking out other books by this author.

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