World Book Club

BBC World Service

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

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Personal Journals 50

World Book Club invites the globe's great authors to discuss their best known novel. Presented by Harriett Gilbert, includes questions from World Service listeners.


Nuruddin Farah - Maps

April 3rd, 2016

Episode 333 of 345 episodes

This month, as part of the World Service’s Identity Season, World Book Club is in Cape Town, home of acclaimed Somali writer Nuruddin Farah, where we’ll be talking to him about his novel, Maps. This moving and dramatic book is the first of three novels which make up Nuruddin Farah’s Blood in the Sun trilogy. Maps traces the journey of a young orphaned boy, Askar, who is taken under the wing of a loving surrogate mother, Misra. Set in both Somalia and Ethiopia with an ever looming backdrop of conflict and political turmoil, Askar struggles to find and forge his identity in a land ravaged by war. Farah’s lucid exploration of struggle – both internal and external; personal and political – is as profound as it is compelling and draws on his own complex relationship with his native Somalia. (Picture credit: Jeffrey Wilson.)

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