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Fiction Cultural Heritage

The Magic of Saida

by (author) M.G. Vassanji

Publisher
Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Aug 2013
Category
Cultural Heritage, Historical, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780385667159
    Publish Date
    Aug 2013
    List Price
    $21.00

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Description

"The Magic of Saida is the sort of novel that, upon finishing, one wants to immediately read again, to examine, to study just how Vasssanji works his narrative magic, and to allow oneself to savour it just that little bit longer." —The Globe and Mail

From Giller Prize–winner M. G. Vassanji comes the story of Kamal Punja, son of an African mother and an Indian father, who has been living in Canada for forty years. Despite his material wealth, Kamal finds himself longing for the place of his birth—Africa—and of a girl there he once loved. As a child he was certain that Saida—granddaughter of a great Swahili poet and his constant companion—would become his future wife, but when he was just eleven Kamal’s mother sent him to live with his estranged father’s family in India. Now, decades later, Kamal journeys back to the village he left—to confront his long-unresolved racial identity and the nightmarish legacy of a broken promise.

About the author

M.G. Vassanji was born in Kenya and raised in Tanzania. He attended university in the United States, where he trained as a nuclear physicist, before coming to Canada in 1978. Vassanji is the author of six novels and two collections of short stories. His work has appeared in various countries and several languages, and he has twice won the Giller Prize. His most recent novel, The Assassin’s Song, was shortlisted for both the Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Award. He is a member of the Order of Canada and lives in Toronto.

M.G. Vassanji's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Gripping. . . . Compelling. . . . A humble village, in the imagination of this chronicler, becomes a vortex of varying belief systems and ways of life."
—National Post

"A sensitive examination of love, loss, and homelessness resulting from necessary shifts in cultural environments."
—The Vancouver Sun

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