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(The second book in the Links series)
A novel by

Nuruddin Farah's native country, Somalia, is shown in all its war-ravaged sadness in his harrowing novel, Knots. Cambara is a young Somalian-born woman who has spent most of her life in Toronto. Through the carelessness of her husband and his mistress, Cambara's son has drowned there and she is devastated by her grief. On a sudden impulse, she decides to go to Mogadiscio (Mogadishu) to properly grieve for her son and to try to wrest her family property from the warlords who seized it. Her journey is frightening and what she finds when she gets there is appalling, but she perseveres and accomplishes much of what she sets out to do.

Along the way she is helped by many people, without whom her goals could never have been reached. Despite squalor, poverty, sexual depravity, petty meanness, and the constant threat of violence, Cambara and a small cadre of good people continue to make progress against daunting odds. Much of the activity centers around ousting the thugs in Cambara's house, making it habitable again and mounting a play there that will showcase the solidarity and civilizing influence women have, even in the direst circumstances imaginable. Cambara is an inspiring woman, filled with zeal to make her world a better place. The other women, and several men, who help her, are Somalis grieving for their once beautiful city, now a landscape of tumbled buildings, potholed streets, gunfire everywhere, and very little hope. Cambara and her friends try to renew that hope in people very near despair by showing them that cooperating against evil may sometimes prevail.

Despite Cambara's inspirational behavior, Farah has drawn her as a character difficult to like. She seems by turns a friend and a manipulative user. In one instance, as she describes it, "she sees nothing wrong in relying on Dajaal's bravery to do the dirty work as long as she does not have to witness or have firsthand knowledge of the perpetration of the violence." There are also problems with Farah's style, by turns arch and stilted and then, in the same sentence, slangy and idiomatic. It is off-putting to the reader, but the harrowing story does come through. --Valerie RyanFrom the internationally revered author of Links comes "a beautiful, hopeful novel about one woman's return to war-ravaged Mogadishu" (Time)

Called "one of the most sophisticated voices in modern fiction" (The New York Review of Books), Nuruddin Farah is widely recognized as a literary genius. He proves it yet again with Knots, the story of a woman who returns to her roots and discovers much more than herself. Born in Somalia but raised in North America, Cambara flees a failed marriage by traveling to Mogadishu. And there, amid the devastation and brutality, she finds that her most unlikely ambitions begin to seem possible. Conjuring the unforgettable extremes of a fractured Muslim culture and the wayward Somali state through the eyes of a strong, compelling heroine, Knots is another Farah masterwork.

Genre: Literary Fiction    Get it on Google Play
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Used availability for Nuruddin Farah's Knots

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Hardback Editions

June 2008 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Knots (Thorndike African-American)
Author(s): Nuruddin Farah
ISBN: 1-4104-0762-4 / 978-1-4104-0762-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

February 2007 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: Knots
Author(s): Nuruddin Farah
ISBN: 1-59448-924-6 / 978-1-59448-924-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

March 2008 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Knots
Author(s): Nuruddin Farah
ISBN: 0-14-311298-8 / 978-0-14-311298-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Non Basic Stock Line
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

July 2016 : MP3 CD
thumbTitle: KNOTS
Author(s): Nuruddin Farah
ISBN: 1-5226-8603-7 / 978-1-5226-8603-3
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

December 2011 : USA Audio edition
thumbTitle: Knots
Author(s): Nuruddin Farah
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   

December 2011 : UK Audio edition
thumbTitle: Knots
Author(s): Nuruddin Farah
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   

Kindle Editions

February 2007 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Knots
Author(s): Nuruddin Farah
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

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