ISBN 10: 1444793772 / ISBN 13: 9781444793772
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Rezension: Mengestu's most impressive examination yet of the African diaspora ... Worlds on a cusp, powerfully drawn: notable above all is Mengestu's desperately moving portrait of a compromised friendship. Sunday Telegraph The enigmatic Isaac radiates a sense of quiet purpose that makes him both substantial and immensely appealing. Mengestu's assertion of the claims of the self against the ideologies of tribe, nation or home is all the more powerful for being expressed through paradox: a character who is as comprehensively stripped of personal ephemera as a protagonist can reasonably be. London Review of Books The chronological staggering of the dual strands creates a clever structure: we expect that they are either going to join up right at the end, or become one somewhere before the final pages and carry on as a unified track. In a way, Mengestu deftly does both, playing with readers' expectations and exploiting the gap in knowledge between how much they know and fear and how little Helen does. Independent Deeply moving ... The first few African chapters of this novel have an elegiac quality oddly reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited ... there is a similar sense of mourning for a vanished world: in this case, the lost interlude of African hope that flourished between the end of colonialism and the rise of authoritarianism in many countries across the continent. New York Times What's fascinating about All Our Names is the unsettling way it engages with history - both the history of Uganda and literary history. Those with the right knowledge will be able to place this novel in an exact historical context, but that's rather beside the point ... This is a book trying to pull away from fixed dates and places just as Helen's Isaac is trying to locate his sense of self without reference to location or the events of his past ... Already the recipient of a number of awards in the United States, including a MacArthur fellowship, Mengestu is rapidly becoming a writer on the global stage. Guardian Mengestu's writing is elegant and economical, and he has a fine, understated tenderness, especially when handling the love between Helen and Isaac. -- The Times Mengestu's quiet, restrained prose is never more devastating than when he describes wounded refugees being slaughtered by other impoverished villagers amid the chaos unleashed by civil war ... The emotional power of All Our Names seeps through lines that seem placid on the surface. Washington Post A story so straightforward but at the same time so mysterious that you can't turn the pages fast enough, and when you're done, your first impulse is to go back to the beginning and start over ... The victories in this beautiful novel are hard fought and hard won, but won they are, and they are durable. New York Times Book Review What's in a name? Identity of a kind, perhaps, but nothing like stability, and perhaps nothing like truth. So Mengestu ponders in this elegiac, moving novel ... a tale about human universals, in this case the universal longing for justice and our seemingly universal inability to achieve it without becoming unjust ourselves ... Weighted with sorrow and gravitas, another superb story by Mengestu, who is among the best novelists now at work in America. Kirkus Reviews (starred) Mengestu perceptively explores the way that alienation serves as the handmaid of idealism ... His characters never altogether abandon their hope - it survives not in political or social revolt but in the true and moving depictions of love and friendship. Wall Street Journal A beautifully textured and unsettling experience ... We've all seen refugees running from civil wars and malevolence on the news and are inured to some extent. In All Our Names Dinaw opens a window to a different sort of experience. As we get to know the Isaacs we consider the deeper questions about belonging and alienation but we also witness the accompanying fear and haunting memories ... These are images and people who will dwell in our minds for a long time to come. Bookbag Can you even remain the same person after experiencing traumatic events? How does a person cope with massive displacement? Mengestu doesn't have the answers, but the exploration is interesting Emerald Street

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