The Prophet's Camel Bell

Front Cover
McClelland and Stewart, Jan 1, 1988 - Fiction - 268 pages
3 Reviews
When Margaret Laurence set out for Somaliland with her engineer husband in 1950, she confronted the difficulty of communication between peoples of vastly different cultures. Yet she came to know the skilled orators, poets and craftsmen of the country, and to share the vision of a people’s struggle for survival in a barren land.

The Prophet’s Camel Bellis part travelogue, part autobiography, part celebration of human nature, and essential reading for anyone who has ever been a stranger in a strange land.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sonofcarc - LibraryThing

I had previously entered this book on LT under the title "New Wind in a Dry Land," under which it was published in the US. Only two other people have it under that name! Either way, this is a ... Read full review

Review: The Prophet's Camel Bell

User Review  - Trevor Birrell - Goodreads

Can autobiographies have a story arch? Please? Read full review

About the author (1988)

Margaret Laurence was born in Neepawa, Manitoba, in 1926. Upon graduation from Winnipeg’s United College in 1947, she took a job as a reporter for the Winnipeg Citizen.

From 1950 until 1957 Laurence lived in Africa, the first two years in Somalia, the next five in Ghana, where her husband, a civil engineer, was working. She translated Somali poetry and prose during this time, and began her career as a fiction writer with stories set in Africa.

When Laurence returned to Canada in 1957, she settled in Vancouver, where she devoted herself to fiction with a Ghanaian setting: in her first novel, This Side Jordan, and in her first collection of short fiction, The Tomorrow-Tamer. Her two years in Somalia were the subject of her memoir, The Prophet’s Camel Bell.

Separating from her husband in 1962, Laurence moved to England, which became her home for a decade, the time she devoted to the creation of five books about the fictional town of Manawaka, patterned after her birthplace, and its people: The Stone Angel, A Jest of God, The Fire-Dwellers, A Bird in the House, and The Diviners.

Laurence settled in Lakefield, Ontario, in 1974. She complemented her fiction with essays, book reviews, and four children’s books. Her many honours include two Governor General’s Awards for Fiction and more than a dozen honorary degrees.

Margaret Laurence died in Lakefield, Ontario, in 1987.

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