Black Mamba Boy: A Novel (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Macmillan, Aug 3, 2010 - Fiction - 304 pages
9 Reviews

Yemen, 1935. Jama is a "market boy," a half-feral child scavenging with his friends in the dusty streets of a great seaport. For Jama, life is a thrilling carnival, at least when he can fill his belly. When his mother--alternately raging and loving--dies young, she leaves him only an amulet stuffed with one hundred rupees. Jama decides to spend her life's meager savings on a search for his never-seen father; the rumors that travel along clan lines report that he is a driver for the British somewhere in the north. So begins Jama's extraordinary journey of more than a thousand miles north all the way to Egypt, by camel, by truck, by train, but mostly on foot. He slings himself from one perilous city to another, fiercely enjoying life on the road and relying on his vast clan network to shelter him and point the way to his father, who always seems just a day or two out of reach.


In his travels, Jama will witness scenes of great humanity and brutality; he will be caught up in the indifferent, grinding machine of war; he will crisscross the Red Sea in search of working papers and a ship. Bursting with life and a rough joyfulness, Black Mamba Boy is debut novelist Nadifa Mohamed's vibrant, moving celebration of her family's own history.

  

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Review: Black Mamba Boy

User Review  - Bobbie Darbyshire - Goodreads

More biography than fiction and sadly not quite either. Not enough historical explanation to educate me, not enough characterisation to hook me, not enough narrative shape to engross and entertain me ... Read full review

Review: Black Mamba Boy

User Review  - Goodreads

More biography than fiction and sadly not quite either. Not enough historical explanation to educate me, not enough characterisation to hook me, not enough narrative shape to engross and entertain me ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

ADEN YEMEN OCTOBER 1935
3
HARGEISA SOMALILAND MARCH 1936
47
DJIBOUTI TOWN DJIBOUTI SEPTEMBER 1936
79
ASSAB ASMARA AND OMHAJER ERITREA OCTOBER 1936
101
OMHAJER ERITREA DECEMBER 1936
129
KEREN ERITREA JANUARY 1941
155
GERSET ERITREA JULY 1941
187
SUDAN EGYPT AND PALESTINE DECEMBER 1946
214
EXODUS MAY 1947
246
PORT TALBOT WALES SEPTEMBER 1947
268
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
287
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somalia, in 1981 to a merchant marine father and a mother from a politically active family, and was trapped in exile when civil war erupted. She studied history and politics at Oxford, and has worked as a film researcher and scriptwriter.

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