All Our Names

All Our Names

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
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An unforgettable love story about a searing affair between an American woman and an African man in 1970s America and an unflinching novel about the fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories. All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart--one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into 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 beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom. Elegiac, blazing with insights about the physical and emotional geographies that circumscribe our lives, All Our Names is a marvel of vision and tonal command. Writing within the grand tradition of Naipul, Greene, and Achebe, Mengestu gives us a political novel that is also a transfixing portrait of love and grace, of self-determination and the names we are given and the names we earn--Publisher's description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
ISBN: 9780385679787
0385679785
9780385349994
0385349998
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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u
uncommonreader
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.

r
rjamesevans
Nov 10, 2015

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

s
santiano9
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.

r
reedstevens
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.

m
mythoughts
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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